Nine pupils injured in dash for freedom from Somali Islamic centreBy ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu | Tuesday, May 1 2012 at 14:07
Police are investigating an incident in which guards shot and wounded nine pupils as they escaped from a rehabilitation centre in Somalia's Bossasso Town.
The incident occurred at Al-Badri Madrasa and Rehabilitation Centre and affected mainly the children brought by the diaspora families to be taught Islamic religion and culture.
Bossaso, 1,500km from Mogadishu, is the commercial capital and main port town of Puntland, the semi-autonomous state in northeastern Somalia.
Local residents said that the children broke away from the restricted centre where they were reportedly being inducted to abandon their foreign mannerisms for the local Islamic values.
Mr Ahmed Sadiq, a resident in Bossaso, confirmed the incident.
He told the Africa Review the incident was prompted by the children's reluctance to cede their freedom.
“The pupils from the diaspora were intolerant to erosion of civil liberties,” said the resident.
“They were annoyed by detention and other restrictions,” he added.
Reports from the area quoted a father of one of the affected children saying; “I took my child there to get rid of his drug addiction”.
The diaspora lot among the pupils aged between 12 and 16 years, were from Canada, the US and Norway.
Police in Bari region in Puntland preliminarily said that three guards at the rehabilitation centre wildly reacted to the break-away and opened fire and that the matter was being investigated.
Many Somali diaspora families prefer to return their children to the troubled country to receive Koran teaching and rehabilitation.
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