The police chief in Somalia’s Puntland state government was wounded severely Tuesday night in the port city of Bossaso, Radio Garowe reported.
Three masked assailants fired five shots at Gen. Gani Mohamed Abdi moments after he walked out of Karama Restaurant at the heart of Bossaso, witnesses said.
Two of the bullets hit the Puntland police chief, including a shot in the head.
Witnesses told Radio Garowe that Gen. Gani was walking alone at around 11:30pm local time when the attackers targeted him.
Medical sources at Bossaso General Hospital confirmed the shooting, adding that Gen. Gani will be transported aboard tomorrow due to the severity of the wounds.
It is the first time a police chief has been attacked in Puntland. At least four Puntland Intelligence Service (PIS) agents were killed in Bossaso so far this year.
In an unrelated incident, Gen. Gani’s deputy, Mohamed Haji Aden, was attacked near Gara’ad district in Mudug region yesterday.
Puntland Ministry of Security officials confirmed that one of Mr. Aden’s bodyguards was wounded and Mr. Aden himself was "kidnapped" by the attackers. He was later released unharmed, the sources added.
It is not clear why Puntland’s deputy police chief was targeted, but the coastal village of Gara’ad is home to many pirates.
Growing insecurity in Puntland is mainly blamed on the leadership of President Adde Muse, who has failed to pay the region’s security forces.