Puntland fire-protest leaves one dead

Puntland fire-protest leaves one dead

8 January 2010

published by somalilandpress.com

Somalia — At least one person was killed and another wounded in a confrontation between civilians and Puntland state police in the town of Garowe on Friday, locals report.

Media reports say residents from Western suburbs of Garowe came out to put down a fire that has gutted a petrol station and several shops. The fire was successfully extinguished by the determined locals using buckets of water.

The locals frustrated with the government, later took to the streets to protest about the lack of fire fighting equipment in the city. They say they desperately need a new firetruck to protect their brush-fire prone community, however they were met by heavily armed police who unleashed a hail of bullets.

They wounded two men, one later died while in hospital.

Until now no one knows how the fire began but it is believed it started from the petrol station and spread to neighbouring shops.

With a population of 33,000 inhabitants,Garowe is the capital and third largest city in Puntland after Bossasso and Galkayo, however the city only has one old firetruck that was donated by the town of Bossasso.

The deadly protest comes hours before Abdirahman Mohamud Farole, the president of Somalia’s semi-autonomous northern region, is set to celebrate his first anniversary since coming to power.

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