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Somalia s Puntland authorities free reporter

MOGADISHU, August 20  – Authorities in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region freed a journalist detained for violating a ban on covering elections before the start of campaigns, the reporter said.

Mohamed Mohamoud Mohamed was arrested on Sunday for interviewing a presidential candidate before the November 3 start of the campaign.

"They released me with no condition though they warned me against covering the election-related news before November," Mohamed told AFP.

Puntland’s 66-member parliament is to elect the region’s new president on December 30 to succeed current leader Ade Muse Hirsi.

Parliament will be dissolved in October and new lawmakers appointed by the various clans.

Puntland declared itself autonomous in August 1998. Another region, Somaliland, split from Somalia in 1991.

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