By Mohammed Dhaysane
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) - Armed clashes in northeastern Somalia have left 10 people dead so far as the fighting enters its second day, a security source said Tuesday.
Heavy gunfight is ongoing in the port city of Bosaso between pro-government security forces of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland and US-trained Puntland Security Forces, said a security official who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity.
The fatalities include three people of a family and a religious scholar, the official said, adding that 40 others have been wounded.
"The death toll could rise as some of the city's neighborhoods were hit by mortar shells," he said.
Puntland's Security Minister Abdisamad Mohamed Galan announced last week that the regional administration is ready for a cease-fire and dialogue.
Businesses, ports, flights, and public transport in Bosaso remain closed, Abdiwahid Mukhtar, a resident, told Anadolu Agency.
Religious scholars and activists have called for an immediate halt to hostilities.
The Puntland administration has accused the PSF of wreaking havoc in the city since Monday.
The PSF turned against the government after Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni dismissed the group’s chief, Mohamed Hassan Diyaano. The chief, however, refused to step down resulting in the current escalation.
The PSF was originally established by the US as an elite spy group to fight Al-Qaeda, but it later began to challenge the state authority.
The US Embassy in Mogadishu has called on both sides to find a peaceful solution to the dispute.