GAROWE, 30 October 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Atleast 12 people were killed and many others wounded after deadly fighting erupted in the central town of Galkayo (Galkaio) on Thursday. The fighting which lasted for hours started after two militias from Puntland and Galmudug administrations clashed in the middle of the city.

Puntland authority said they carried out operations in the main market, an area Galmudug admin claims as it’s territory. According to an eye witness, the fighting erupted after angry residents began firing at Puntland police forces and spilled into many parts of the city – turning into a heavy fighting between the two militias.

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Officials from Galdumug administration claim to have killed many Puntland militias and burning at least two vehicles during the battle. Puntland authorities also said they had withdrawn their militia from the disputed area.

Tensions are said to be high in the city and the two sides are regrouping and rearming. There is no mediation efforts in the city as both sides are claiming the control of the city’s main market.

The town of Galkayo is divided between Puntland and Galmudug administrations, where each side is backed by warring tribes.

Galmudug, like the state of Puntland considers itself to be a federal division within the larger federal state of Somalia.  The administration was formed in 2006 after many years of social unrests and instability in many parts of Somalia.