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Senior al-Shabaab leader defects to SNA in central Somalia

MOGADISHU (SD) – A senior al-Shabab commander on Wednesday surrendered to Somali army in central region of the horn of Africa nation amid military operations against the militants intensified.

Gedi Qalabhor, Somali military commander in Mudug region told media that a senior al-Shabaab commander surrendered to Somali forces in Ba’adweyne town.

“Al-Shabab senior commander for collecting taxes defected from the group and surrendered to us here in this town today, we welcomed him well and we will also welcome others leaving the terrorist network,” Qalabhor said.

The defector, Dalabey Abdi Moalim lauded the forces for welcoming him, adding that there were more al-Shabaab fighters who are planning to defect.

The defection of Maolim comes barely two days after Somali military claimed to have killed fifty militants in separate operations.

About 35 members of the al-Shabaab terror group were killed in operations that took place in the vicinity of Qayacad, approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Ba’adweyne town in the central region of Mudug.

In a separate operation, SNA forces reportedly killed 15 al-Shabaab fighters in Lower Jubba region of southern Somalia.

“The 5th, 16th Danab Commandos carried out planned operations to destroy terrorist hideouts in Lower Juba region,” the Somali National Armed Forces tweeted on Monday.

Somali military has stepped up operations against al-Shabaab militants in central and southern Somalia.

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