P&O Ports manager killed in Puntland region of Somalia

Dubai Government-owned company won a 30-year contract for Bosaso port in 2017

A boat is seen at the Bosaso port where head of Dubai government-owned P&O Ports' operations Paul Anthony Formosa was shot and killed, in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland, Somalia February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Abdiqani Hassan       NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The manager of a port run by Dubai Government-owned P&O Ports was shot dead in Bosaso in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland, the Dubai Media Office confirmed.

The Al Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility.

Paul Fermosa, a manager at P&O Ports, was walking to work when he was shot and killed by an Al Shabab militant disguised as a fisherman, reported Reuters. The assassin was shot and killed by one of Mr Fermosa's bodyguards.

"The circumstances of the incident are currently being investigated by P&O Ports and the Puntland authorities and with the company's full co-operation," P&O Ports said in a statement to The National. "The employee's family have been notified and naturally our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.

"As this is an ongoing investigation, P&O Ports will not be making any further comment until the full facts surrounding the incident are known."

P&O Ports, owned by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, won a 30-year contract worth $336 million in 2017 to develop and operate the port in Bosaso, a commercial hub about 1,300 kilometres north of the Somalian capital Mogadishu.

The UAE has strong ties with Somaliland and nearby Puntland, where the Bosaso port is located.

Al Shabab has been fighting for control of most Somalian cities and towns for more than a decade, but African Union and Somalian troops pushed the Al Qaeda-linked militants out of Mogadishu in 2011. However, their insurgency still remains active.