Pontus Marine LTD- Leader of fishing industry in Somaliland

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Somalia: Top officials killed in Puntland

MOGADISHU -- Two senior regional officials, a lawmaker and a judge, were gunned down overnight in the northeastern semi-autonomous Somali region of Puntland.

Ibrahim Elmi Gaab, a lawmaker in the Puntland regional parliament, was shot dead as he headed home from his office in Garowe, capital of the regional state, which has been relatively stable.
Police in the city said the official who was a veteran member of the local legislature was killed by a man armed with pistol who escaped the scene following the killing.
In Bossaso, commercial capital of Puntland, Sheik Mohamed Abdi Aware, a senior judge at the local court of first instance, was also killed by masked gunmen who shot him several times as he left a mosque in the port city.
The judge have reportedly presided over trials of people suspected of involvement in piracy and others belonging to the Somali Islamist insurgent group of Al-Shabaab, which mainly operates in the south and center of Somalia.
Four men accused of belonging to Al-Shabaab and causing insecurity were last week sentenced 15 years in prison. Alleged pirates also received various jail terms given by the court of the region, known for being a hotbed for piracy which wrecks havoc on ships off the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attacks. Local police have said they are investigating the killing of the senior regional officials.
The killing comes as security deteriorated in the region which has been relatively peaceful compared with the south and center of the war-torn country.
Security officials in the region have recently been warning of increasing insecurity caused by what they said groups intent on destabilizing the regional state.
Local police forces have been carrying out searches in the main towns of the region, including the capital, Garowe, Bossaso and Galkayo, capital of the central Somali province of Mudug, where there were bomb attacks recently on hotels and the offices of local administration.
Puntland in the northeastern part of the war-torn Horn of Africa nation has been relatively stable and self-governing since 1998, when the region unilaterally declared autonomy from the rest of the country and formed its own administration. Editor: Anne Tang
Source: Xinhua
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