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Chief Guard Shot Dead in Somalia

The chief commander of Somaliland presidential palace in northern Somalia was shot dead Monday night by one of his soldiers in his house inside the palace.

According to sources close to the presidential palace, Colonel Osman Farah Mohamed received three bullets, which killed him instantly on the spot. Over 300 heavily armed soldiers sealed the presidential palace to search for the culprit.

However, to the embarrassment of the secessionist authority of Mohamed Hajji Ibrahim Egal, the killer escaped unhurt.

The reaction force soldiers rounded up all of the nearly 100 soldiers which guarded the presidential palace at the time of the attack.

Farah Mohamed was buried Tuesday at the graveyard of Hargeisa where Egal and his "cabinet ministers" attended the funeral.

The reason for the attack is not yet known, however it was indicated that the killer, one of the soldiers in the camp, had been punished a few days earlier for disciplinary action.

Mohamed Waranaddeh, "interior minister" of the breakaway authority, told reporters in Hargeisa that the killing of Farah Mohamed had nothing to do with clannish or political matters, but was merely an action carried by an annoyed soldier.

The murder took at a time when Hargeisa is feeling political pressure from the international community following the decision by Egal not to attend the on-going peace conference in Djibouti for the formation of a government for Somalia.

Two days ago, Egal deported 19 clan elders and senior military officials from Puntland who were travelling on their way to Djibouti through Somaliland for the conference.

Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed, war lord of Puntland, also refused to attend the Djibouti peace conference.



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