Thursday April 22, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - A brawl broke out on Thursday at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport, reportedly between immigration police and plain-clothed NISA agents.
Several of the disturbing videos are being widely circulated on social media.
In one video, a fight between several men spills out onto the airport tarmac where idle planes are parked. Several men appear to have attacked an individual, who was tossed around the pavement several times before having punches and kicks rain down on him.
In another video, weary travellers look on as men hurl chairs, metal stanchion posts, and other projectiles across the customs and immigration checkpoint at one another.
Immigration Police are identifiable by their uniform black pants and white shirt, while the men dressed more casually are the plain-clothed intelligence officers.
While details remain sketchy, sources at the airport say the fight began when NISA agents insisted an individual - reportedly a foreigner - bypass the immigration checkpoint and passport control. The immigration officers refused the request, and emotions boiled over into a fistfight.
Abdirizak Omar, a lawmaker and former Internal Security Minister, was told that the fight started after immigration officials refused to hand over Youtubers, who NISA recognized as problematic.
At this time, HOL can independently verify neither version, and we will release more information as it becomes available.
The exact number of injured in the fray is unknown.
An airport source told HOL that the "foreigner" travelling was most likely on the Turkish Airlines flight that landed just before the altercation.
Airport officials say there has been damage to windows, cameras and equipment.
Somali state television is reporting that the police are investigating and described the incident as a scuffle between airport staff.
Senior immigration and security officials are said to have intervened to resolve the dispute.