Heavily armed militias have kidnapped the governor of Nugal region, in Somalia’s northeastern State of Puntland, a government official told Radio Garowe.
Burtinle District Commissioner Hussein Guled « Hanaf » confirmed to Radio Garowe during a Monday interview that Nugal Governor Abdi Hersi Ali was kidnapped and his « whereabouts are unknown. »
« Local elders are talking with clan militias to seek the Governor’s release, » Mr. Hanaf said.
The incident happened after Governor Hersi, who was traveling through Burtinle District in Nugal region, came across an illegal roadblock set up by clan militias.
The Governor called in police reinforcements from the Puntland capital Garowe, the Burtinle District Commissioner told Radio Garowe.
« Fighting erupted between the police and the militias…one policeman was wounded and one militiaman killed, » Mr. Hanaf said.
Moments later, angry militias rushed to the scene and when Mr. Hanaf attempted to intervene and stop them, « they opened fire. »
The militias chased down the Governor of Nugal and captured him and one of his bodyguards alive, the District Commissioner added. The Governor, the bodyguard and their vehicle are « all missing » but local traditional elders are in talks with the militias, according to Mr. Hanaf.