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Suicide bomber kills five in Somalia's northern Puntland region

Suicide bomber kills five in Somalia's northern Puntland region

Somalia

<p>A suicide bomber killed five people, including a policeman, and injured 12 others on Tuesday at a police checkpoint in Somalia’s northern Puntland region, a local governor said, the first such attack in three years.</p> <p>Although suicide bombings are common in the capital of Mogadishu, they are relatively rare in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, where the security forces are relatively regularly paid and receive substantial U.S. assistance.</p> <p>“The bomber seemed suspicious as he walked and when he was ordered to stop, he blew himself up,” said Yusuf Mohamed, governor of Bari region in Puntland.</p> <p>The al Qaeda-linked Somali Islamist insurgency, al Shabaab, which claims responsibility for most attacks, told Reuters they were not behind the bombing.</p> <p>Puntland, which is just across the Red Sea from Yemen, is also home to a splinter group of al Shabaab that has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group. Security sources say there is a small contingent of foreigners there too.</p> <p>The fighters loyal to Islamic State briefly seized the port town of Qandala in December but were driven back into the mountains by Puntland security services.</p> <p>It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attack.</p> <p>Somalia has been ravaged by civil war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew a dictator and then turned on each other.</p> <p><strong><em>Reuters</em></strong></p>
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