Clan fighting in central Somalia kills 15+, militia threatens domestic flights

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DHUUSAMAREEB (KAAB TV) – More than 15 people, including a police officer, died in a heavy fight that broke out on Saturday morning in the Landheer area, between the towns of Caabudwaaq and Xeraale in Galmudug’s Galgaduud region, central Somalia.

Journalists in the region and officials reported that the war between clan militias from the Marexaan and Dir is rooted in an old dispute related to the ownership of a water well and rural villages.

Galmudug officials described the war as unfortunate and said it caused heavy losses. Militants are using heavy weapons and machine gun-mounted vehicles. It is reported that Galmudug government troops from the two communities participated.

The police chief of Caabudwaaq district was confirmed as one of the dead in the Saturday morning conflict. Journalists said that the bodies of those who died in the conflict were at the scene until Saturday afternoon.

Galmudug internal security minister, Mohamed Abdi Adan, called for an end to the war and for the conflicting parties to come together for dialogue.

“I am very sorry for the renewed war in the Landheer area. It is not expected today, it is not irreversible. The president has already spoken about it and called for peace,” said the minister.

The minister said that soldiers who went to the place to intervene between the fighting groups were targeted and killed.

Reporters in the area said that the fighting continued until the afternoon. There are injuries that have been taken to Cadaado and Caabudwaaq hospitals.

A Threat Against Caabudwaaq Airstrip

One of the parties involved in the war claimed to have closed the Caabudwaaq airport, which is very close to where the fighting is ongoing. The airport receives daily domestic flights from Mogadishu.

Sources in Caabudwaaq told Kaab TV that there could be a significant risk if the warring militias, who possess anti-aircraft weapons, target civilian flights landing at the airport.

On the other hand, religious scholars in Cadaado issued a call for the warring parties to stop fighting and demanded that the Galmudug administration take responsibility for ending the conflict.

Clan wars that have resulted in many deaths have recently been increasing in the southern and central regions of Somalia due to the proliferation of weapons and the rise of armed clan-based militias.

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