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semiautonomous region (2009 est. pop. 3,900,000), c.82,050 sq mi (212,500 sq km), extreme NE Somalia. It is bordered on the N by the Gulf of Aden, on the E by the Indian Ocean, on the S by the Gulmudug region, on the SW by Ethiopia, and on the NW by the Somaliland region. Puntland occupies about a third of Somalia and contains about a third of its population. Garowe is the capital, and Bosaso, on the Gulf of Aden, is the largest city and region's major port.

An arid area with frequent droughts, it supports pastoralism and some agriculture, and there is fishing along the coast. Oil exploration on land and offshore began in the 2000s. In recent years Puntland has been a hub for pirates targeting shipping in the Indian Ocean.

Ruled by various Muslim sultanates for hundreds of years, it came under European influence along with the rest of Somalia in the 19th century. Puntland became part of the newly independent Somalia in 1960. Puntland declared its independence in 1998, but unlike neighboring Somaliland, Puntland is not seeking recognition as an independent entity but is willing reestablish ties with the federal government if the latter shares power and foreign aid with the regions. Puntland has had border disputes and conflicts with Somaliland and Galmudug. Since the 1990s the region has been inundated by refugees from the war-torn south, and more recently Islamic militants have been a growing presence in the area.

References in periodicals archive ?
The aid agency worker was snatched with a Kenyan colleague in the Puntland region on Wednesday.
Mogadishu University, the University of East Africa in Bosasso, Puntland, and many secondary schools in Mogadishu are externally funded and administered through organizations affiliated with Al-Islah, an Islamic organization.
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, supported the renovation efforts led by the Puntland authorities, in full coordination with the federal government and international partners.
As a result of El Nino, two consecutive rainy seasons have failed in Somaliland and Puntland.
Puntland now has its own well-trained Maritime Police Force, funded by the UAE.
The MoU was signed by Ministry of Fisheries Wealth Awadh al-Socatri and his counterpart in Puntland State Hasan Mahmoud.
Abdi Idris, an official in the semi-autonomous Puntland region which administers the airport, gave the nationalities of the two men and said they worked as consultants for the U.
MOGADISHU - Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gs, a former Somali prime minister, was elected president Wednesday of the semi-autonomous Puntland region, an area of Somalia struggling to shed its image as a pirate haven and still threatened by Islamist militants.
NNA - (Reuters) - At least 100 people were killed over the weekend when a tropical cyclone hit Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region, President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole said on Monday, appealing for help from aid agencies.
The north east has broken way into two autonomous statelets in Puntland, and Somaliland in the north west has been separate from the rest for many years, successfully holding elections and managing its affairs well.
Bosasso (Somalia) : A ship and its crew of 22 sailors held by Somali pirates for almost three years have been freed after a two-week-long siege by maritime police, the government of the breakaway region of Puntland said.