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Iran seeks answers from Somalia over killing of sailor by Puntland forces

Storyline:National News, Security
Credit: Puntland Maritime Forces

Iran has protested the killing of one of its citizens in Somalia’s Indian Ocean waters last week over what local maritime forces said was a result of illegal fishing.

A spokesman of Iran’s foreign ministry told the local media his country had sought explanation from Somalia over the killing of the sailor who was shot dead by Puntland Maritime Forces. Another sailor was injured while 16 others were unharmed.

“Iran has conveyed its protest to Somalia in this regard through relevant channels,” Bahram Qassemi, the foreign ministry spokesman said.

Colonel Mohamed Abdi Hashi of Puntland police quoted by VOA said the captain of the vessel Haydar Abdalla Sabiil was shot after escaping following orders from the forces.

“Our security forces were conducting an operation on October 6, they encountered two illegal fishing boats off Ras Hafun coast. When they tried to stop them in order to check their permits they escaped,” he said.

Iran’s Press TV said, ‘The Iranian Foreign Ministry was seriously following up on the issue.”

Illegal and Unregulated fishing is common in Somali waters owing to the country’s lack of capacity to man its waters. Campaign groups have warned illegal fishing could lead to the return of pirates as they seek to fend off the foreign trawlers in Somali waters.