Clan Clash In Central Somalia Leaves 55 Dead, 155 Injured

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A violent clash between two clans in central Somalia over the weekend has resulted in at least 55 deaths and 155 injuries, according to residents and medical officials.

The conflict erupted on Saturday between the Dir and Marihan clans in the towns of Abudwaq and Herale, over disputes concerning grazing land and watering points, said Farah Nur, a clan elder and resident of Herale.

“Government forces arrived late. Unfortunately, 55 people died, including members of both clans,” Nur said. “It was easy to stop the fight, but it didn’t happen. The situation got out of hand and spread like wildfire.”

Medical personnel from hospitals in Herale, Abudwaq, and two other nearby towns confirmed that they had treated 115 people wounded in the fighting. Those who died were buried immediately by residents.

Ahmed Shire Falagle, a security adviser to the president of Galmudug state, suggested that al Shabaab might have indirectly instigated the clash. “We believe al Shabaab is indirectly behind this strange war,” Falagle said. “These are two brotherly clans that jointly used to defeat al Shabaab.”

The conflict subsided following the arrival of federal government soldiers, but tensions remain high. “There is a ceasefire, but the mood is not good. A permanent ceasefire is needed,” said Sadia Hussein, a mother of four from Abudwaq.

Melissa Enoch

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