At least three Somali police officers killed and several wounded during an operation to remove a roadblock erected by local militiamen near Mataban district in Hiran region on Friday, a local official said.
A day early, a convoy of the Turkish-trained Harma’ad police officers was attacked by armed gunmen in Central Somalia, as the country struggles to secure most parts of the country, which are either under the control of clan militia or terror groups, that unleash on innocent civilians.
Police reports indicate that the police officers engaged in a fierce gunfight after being ambushed by a group of clan militia outside Mataban in the Hiran region which had witnessed inter-clan fights and Al-Shabaab terror attacks.
The officers, reports indicate, were coming from Dhusamareeb, the capital of Galmadug state, and are said to have been heading to Mir-Qasim where they were to give their colleagues reinforcement who was carrying an operation to clear armed militia.
Federal police were in the region pursuing clan militia who had abducted civilians traveling on the bus to Mogadishu earlier on Thursday, officials said. Clan militia who usually run extortionist networks is common in several parts of the country.
The number of casualties still remains unclear but several officers are said to have been injured or died during the attack. Raids against civilians, security forces, and government employees are synonymous within the country, which has struggled to stabilize for three decades.
Harma’ad police officers are trained by Turkey with an interest in the Horn of Africa country. More often than not, the officers are used in sophisticated operations but at times, they are deployed in politically volatile regions to antagonize opponents, according to critics.
Besides the Harma’ad police officers, Turkey also trains the Gor Gor troops of the Somali National Army, who are also deployed along the Kenyan border. In recent years, Turkey has been facing resistance from armed groups in Somalia among them the Al-Shabaab militants.