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At least 34 killed in clashes in Somaliland, doctors say

Police officers stand near the bodies of alleged al Shabaab militants who have been killed after the siege at the Mogadishu Municipality Headquaters in Mogadishu on Jan 22, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

BOSASO – At least 34 people have been killed in clashes in Somalia's northern breakaway region of Somaliland, two doctors at a public hospital in Laascaanood town said on Monday.

Fighting broke out in the east of Somaliland on Monday morning between regional forces and anti-government fighters, Somaliland's interior minister said, a month after some 20 people were killed in protests over control of disputed areas.

Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 but 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 Laascaanood, the administrative capital of the Sool region, said at least 34 people were killed and another 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.

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Somaliland authorities could not immediately be reached for comment on the death toll.