Two protesters have been killed and another one was wounded in clashes with the police of the breakaway Somaliland on Sunday in Wajaale town northern Somalia.
Violence broke out as the police tried to stop several hundred chanting protesters from accessing a market in the centre of the town.
The demonstrations started as a small-scale traders protest over Somaliland government’s plan to demolish the market.
Angry protesters took to the streets of the town to vent their angers over the continued demolition of the market by the government bringing commercial activities to an halt.
Witnesses said the riot police opened fire onto the crowd.
A protester who gave his name only as Mohamed said two protester were shot in the head.
“We were peacefully demonstrating when the police aggressively dispersed the crowds by indiscriminately spraying them with gunfire. They killed two civilians and injured another one,” witness Mohamed said. He added,”The government should have first provided land before asking us to leave,”
Police sources said the protest turned violent when protesters attacked policemen with stones.
“They tried to enter the market by force and the riot police stopped them. There were clashes and so far two people have died,” a Somaliland police officer said on condition of anonymity.
A former British protectorate, Somaliland broke away from the rump Somalia 10 months after Somali strongman Mohamed Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.
More stable and economically viable than central and southern Somalia in recent years, Somaliland is seeking international recognition as an independent state.