No fewer than 34 people have been killed in fighting in Somalia’s northern breakaway region of Somaliland, two doctors at a public hospital in the town of Laascaanood say, Al Jazeera reports.
Fighting broke out in eastern Somaliland on Monday morning between forces from the region, which declared its independence in 1991, and fighters opposed to its government, Somaliland’s interior minister said. The battle was reported a month after about 20 people were killed in protests over control of disputed areas.
Somaliland has not gained widespread international recognition for its independence and has seen opposition to its claims over land on its eastern border with Puntland, one of Somalia’s semi-autonomous regions.
Mohamed Farah, a doctor at Laascaanood Hospital in the administrative capital of the Sool region, said at least 34 people were killed and 40 injured in Monday’s fighting. Farah said he had seen the bodies brought to the hospital.
A second doctor at the hospital confirmed the death toll and said the facility had been targeted with mortar shells.
Somaliland authorities could not immediately be reached for comment on the death toll.