23 July 2018

UAE plane blocked from leaving Somalia's Puntland region

KONFRONTASI-Somali officials are said to have stopped a plane from the United Arab Emirates from leaving the country after Emirati military trainers on board refused to hand over their luggage to be scanned and searched.

The local news website Mareeg reported on Saturday that Somali officials at Bosaso airport insisted that the "heavy bags" on the flight be checked, resulting in an hours-long standoff.

It added that talks were under way between Somali's semiautonomous Puntland region and the UAE to end the dispute.

The UAE foreign ministry has not commented on the matter.

The news comes just days after Somalia's government seized several bags of money carrying almost $10m from a plane that arrived at Mogadishu airport from Abu Dhabi.

The money was found in three unmarked bags on a Royal Jet plane, the Somali interior ministry said, adding it was investigating where it came from, where it was going and the individuals involved.

"The security forces noticed the suspicious bags and handed them over to the concerned departments," Somalia's security ministry said in a statement.

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