At least 17 soldiers were killed in clashes overnight between forces from two semi-autonomous regions of northern Somalia, local officials said on Wednesday.
Soldiers from Puntland and Galmudug have clashed repeatedly over territorial disputes and political rivalries in recent years.
The fighting erupted after Puntland said it had killed Islamist militants in an air raid but Galmudug said its soldiers were targeted.
Abdi Hussein, the deputy governor of Galkayo — the capital of the Galmudug region said that Puntaland was rather targeting its soldiers, and not militants.
Somalia is considered a “failed” state as currently no central governing authority has exclusive control over the entire country. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) is the recognised central government authority but its control is weak and a number of areas and local authorities within Somalia have declared themselves “independent” and do not recognise it as the legitimate governing authority.