33 soldiers killed and 65 injured in clashes between two Somali regions

At least 33 soldiers have been killed and 65 wounded in clashes between troops from two regions of northern Somalia, the self-proclaimed independent Somaliland and the semi-autonomous Puntland, confirmed Efe military sources today.

Both regions have been facing the disputed Sool area for more than ten years.

On Monday and Tuesday, clashes between forces of the two territories caused the death of 33 soldiers and another 65 suffered injuries in the town of Tukaraq, in Sool, said Puntland troops commander Faysal Adow, without providing more details

Independent sources told Efe that Somaliland suffered 13 casualties and 20 from Puntland.

The battle erupted after troops from Puntland were ambushed by soldiers from Somaliland, according to local residents quoted by the Garowe news website in the city of Puntland.

The tension in Tukaraq has increased in the last three months, after troops from Somaliland seized control of that strategic city last January, after a raid against Puntland soldiers deployed there.

The clashes, which have caused the displacement of people, have occurred while the UN envoy for Somalia, Michael Keating, has mediated between the parties to reduce the tension.

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