Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Monday, 20 July 2009 11:09 UK

Somalia deports Chinese cyclist

Lee Yue Zhong
Lee Yue Zhong said he was disappointed not to reach Mogadishu

A Chinese cyclist has been forced to put the brakes on a 12-year world tour, after officials in Somalia deported him for not having the right documents.

Lee Yue Zhong, who says he has visited 114 countries since setting off on his tour in 1997, arrived in the semi-autonomous Puntland region last week.

But he had no visa and Somali police arrested him before deporting him to neighbouring Djibouti.

The cyclist said he was disappointed with the decision.

He said he had travelled from Somaliland to the Puntland capital Garowe, where he was arrested.

Somalia map

"It took me two weeks from Hargeisa to here and it was part of my long trip to tour continents worldwide, but they really disappointed me," the AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

Local police commissioner Abdirahman Haji Abshir said Mr Zhong, who is in his mid-fifties, could not continue through Somalia "for security reasons".

Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991 and has been riven by fighting between Islamist insurgents and government troops.

Somaliland has declared itself independent while Puntland has semi-autonomous status. Both areas run their own affairs.

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