Bomb explosion in Somaliland kills four cops

Monday, January 25, 2010

At least four policemen were killed today by a bomb which exploded in Somaliland, Somalia's breakaway republic. The bomb was hidden near a mosque, according to police sources and witnesses.

The townspeople claim the bomb was detonated in front of the local mosque near a police station in the town. Four policemen in the police station were killed by the blast.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for Monday's blast, which came two weeks after gunmen threw grenades at Las Anod police station, near the Puntland border, on January 12, and thereby injured two policemen.

Late on Sunday, gunmen had ambushed and murdered a senior police officer while he was returning home. Also, a woman was had been killed in an explosion near Las Anod's hospital.

Somaliland's security forces had prevented an attack on a Hargeisa mosque earlier this month. The imam of the mosque had condemned suicide bombings carried out by al Shabaab activists, which angered the insurgents.

A political conflict between the president of Somaliland and the opposition over a delay in the general elections can lead to further explosions in the area.