7 December 2012

Somalia: Mortars Fired From Galmudug Area Hit Civilian Homes in Galkayo

Galkayo — Puntland's Governor of Mudug region and Puntland Deputy Police Commissioner condemned a mortar attack that allegedly came from the direction of Galmudug, that hit a civilian home in Galkayo on Friday, Garowe Online reports.

Mohamed Yusuf Jama Tigey, Governor of Mudug region and Puntland Deputy Police Commissioner Gen. Muhiyadin Ahmed Mussa condemned mortar attacks that crashed into civilian homes as families were eating breakfast early Friday morning.

Both officials spoke to press Friday morning after the attack, describing it as despicable attacks targeting civilians in Puntland. The mortars hit homes in the Israa and Garsoor neighborhoods. "The attack hit 3 homes in Israa and 1 house in Garsoor," said Governor Tigey.

Continuing, Governor Tigey spoke about the increase in attacks on civilians in Galkayo.

"This is another added drawback to the increasing incursions that are occurring in Galkayo and are coming from Galmudug area. These attacks threaten to break previous agreements that were signed to live side by side in peace," said Governor Tigey.

Gen Muhiyadin told reporters that the mortars were launched from the Galmudug administration's jurisdiction in south Galkayo.

Puntland authorities have spoke previously about the increase in attacks coming from Galmudug jurisdiction and are occurring in Puntland. Gen. Muhiyadin reiterated those statements on Friday adding that such attacks will not be tolerated.

"Attacks on homes, on travelers, civilians and Puntland authorities will not be tolerated, Puntland will defend itself from anyone or groups that are threatening or doing harm to Galkayo residents and Puntland people," said Gen. Muhiyadin.

Last month a vehicle traveling from Galdogob to Galkayo carrying passengers was stopped at gunpoint near the outskirts of Galkayo. According to Mudug officials, the armed men took the travelers south of Galkayo and are holding the passengers hostage.

Some security analysts who spoke to GO say that an arrest by Puntland forces last last month of Al Shabaab agent - and south Galkayo resident - who was carrying explosives including suicide bomb jackets and is allegedly in charge of logistics for the terrorist organization last month and the recent hostage taking outside Galkayo are linked.

Puntland and Galmudug share jurisdiction of Galkayo. The Puntland government's jurisdiction is northern Galkayo with three major neighborhoods and the airport, and Galmudug in the southern corner in one neighborhood.

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