Smugglers, Militias, Pirates Fight Police for Mareero Village in Puntland
By JD, Somalia Report
At least one person died and another was wounded after police from Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland fought against militants supported by pirates in Mareero, a village 30km east of Bosaso in Bari region, according to police officers and witnesses.
Members of the militia group were seized by police last week in Mareero area, a hub for pirates, smugglers and migrants, under the supervision of Bari Police Commander Osman Hassan Aw-ke (known as Afdalow), causing the fighting to break out on Saturday and Monday. Militants took control of the police station during the fight.
The local militia is a locally well-known group which smuggles migrants from Somalia to Yemen.
“The militia has good relations with the pirates and migrants. Some of their members were seized by police and then on late Saturday the group sought revenge and attacked the Puntland police. On Monday one militant died and another was wounded by the police. Now we are afraid because of the clashes. We know the pirates and militias will fight against the police again,” witness in Mareero told Somalia Report.
Puntland officers claimed they re-seized the police station in Mareero and defeated the militants and pirates.
“Yes, we retook the police center but we are keeping tight security because pirates can prepare to re-attack our police in Mareero,” a police officer told Somalia Report on Condition off anonymity
Traditional leaders from Mareero also confirmed the fight.
“Yes, Puntland police and and militias fought in Mareero. The militants are now out of the village and Puntland police are in control. Everything is now quiet,” Harago, a traditional leader from Mareero told Somalia Report.
Militants, pirates and smugglers recently moved to Mareero, which had been a relatively peaceful town, after being pressured to leave other areas of Bari region.
© Somalia Report 2011. All rights reserved.