Hargeisa — Somaliland said it will use all means to regain control of the strategic city of Las Anod, the regional capital of Sool after its troops lost power to SSC clan militia.
The command of Somaliland military announced an all-out offensive to flush out SSC from the city, where local community fighters vowed to defend it until the last breath.
Faisal Abdi Botan, the leading commander of the breakaway region’s army termed the surprise withdrawal from Tukaraq as a military tactic and retreat to designated bases.
Botan added that Somaliland forces will not rest until they make sure the recapture of Las Anod. His remarks come amid Somaliland defeats on the front-lines in Sool region.
The army officer alleged that Al-Shabaab and Puntland forces are taking part in Las Anod battle, supporting the local SSC militia, a claim both sides have denied as “baseless”.
Las Anod war entered its fourth week with health officials saying the death toll is increasing by each passing day due to the non-stop shelling and clashes in the outskirts of the city.
Since February 6, there has been heavy fighting in Las Anod between troops from Somaliland and local militia from the Dhulbahante clan which wants an autonomy.
The current upheaval in Las Anod began on December 26 when a local opposition politician, Abdifatah Abdullahi Abdi, was assassinated by unknown attackers, sparking anti-government protests across the city.
The death toll is said to be at least 105 while 600 others sustained wounds. The casualties likely to rise since the confrontation still ongoing, according to the few residents remained in the city.