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Fighting erupts in Las Anod, days after WHO condemns attack on a health facility


Tuesday July 18, 2023

Las Anod (HOL) - Heavy fighting broke out on Wednesday morning in the eastern part of Las Anod town, involving the Somaliland army and SSC-Khatuma forces.

Preliminary reports indicate artillery fire hit the town, resulting in unknown casualties.

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The exact instigator of the conflict remains unclear; however, the opposing factions were close to each other for over four months. Local media reports indicate that there have been casualties on both sides.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization (WHO) condemned the latest attack on a health facility in the disputed city of Las Anod in Somalia's Somaliland region, where dozens of people, including healthcare workers and patients, were killed and injured.

The WHO said Tuesday's fighting in Las Anod also destroyed two ambulances.

In response to the WHO's statement, the Somaliland government strongly asserted its commitment to safeguarding human lives and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and healthcare facilities.

The conflict in Las Anod intensified following the assassination of a Dhulbahante politician in December 2022, sparking widespread protests. Somaliland security forces responded with excessive and lethal force, leading to the deaths and injuries of numerous protesters.
In the face of mounting anger and continued protests over the killings, Somaliland authorities withdrew their forces, allowing Dhulbahante clan elders to enter the city and declare their disassociation from Somaliland's administration. However, clashes immediately erupted between Somaliland security forces and armed fighters linked to the Dhulbahante clan, resulting in a full-scale armed conflict. The violence has caused an estimated death toll of around 300 people and displaced approximately 154,000 to 203,000 civilians from their homes. The conflict has triggered international outrage and repeated calls for an immediate resolution.



 





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