Soldier shoots dead senior commander in northern Somalia


Col. Hassan Shire, the commander of Bossaso airport security killed on Monday


BOSSASO . A Somali soldier in the Puntland semiautonomous region’s military has killed his commander in a shooting rampage in northern Somalia Monday, officials said.

The unidentified soldier has reportedly opened fire on Col. Hassan Shire, the commander of Bossaso airport security at the airport before he escaped.

Security officials told reporters that security forces are pursuing the renegade soldier who is at large with his weapons in the region’s commercial hub of Bossaso town, however, they ruled out initial reports that the incident was linked to ‘terrorism’.

The development follows a similar incident in which another soldier with Puntland military went on a shooting spree, killing three comrades at a military post in the outlying flashpoint town of Galgala, where troops are fighting the Al-Qaeda linked fighters who are trying to take control of the region in northern Somalia. Soldiers have instantly shot dead him on the spot.

Puntland is fighting Al-Shabab fighters in the mountainous Galgala town which changed hands for the past few years. Al-Shabab is fighting to set up a key base in the strategic town that can provide safe haven for the group’s fighters often targeted by aerial attacks, mostly by the US forces.