BOSASSO. — Somali’s Al-Shabaab militants have seized a small port in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, the latest sign of a resurgence in activity by the Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa nation.
A series of offensives last year by the African Union force AMISOM and the Somali National Army had driven Al-Shabaab out of major strongholds in the southern region of Somalia.
At the time, officials said some Al-Shabaab militants had moved north to the Puntland region, beyond AMISOM’s area of operation. In recent weeks, Al-Shabaab has also retaken smaller towns and launched deadly attacks in the southern region.
“Al-Shabaab fighters with several boats captured Garad town,” Hassan Mohamed, governor for Mudug region of Puntland, told Reuters, adding that the attack took place on Monday. “We do not want to say publicly how we will react.”
The head of the local authority in the port town of Garad, Abdinur Abdullahi, told Reuters by telephone that Al-Shabaab with foreign fighters had met local elders, saying they would “capture many places and fight non-Muslims”. — Reuters.