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Top al-Shabab leader defects, surrenders to Somali army forces
Tuesday August 29, 2023
Dhusamareb (HOL) - A senior leader of al-Shabab has defected from the group and surrendered to Somali army forces in north-central Somalia on Tuesday, as reported by the government.
The defector, Nur Abdullahi Maalingur, known as AK Nur Deeq, was the top commander of the group's fighters in the Mudug region. He was presented to the media in the Wisil district.
Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation Ahmed Moallim Fiqi told local media that the defector played a central role in the most intense conflict between government forces and militants in the Mudug region.
"He was the person who regularly coerced people in business, traditional elders, and residents, compelling them to pay extortion," Fiqi stated.
Last week, the Somali government offered amnesty to al-Shabab militants amid an ongoing military offensive in central parts of the country.
The amnesty offer is part of a widening approach by the Somali government in its fight against the al-Shabab militant group. The government has deployed the military, targeted financial networks and waged an ideological battle against the group.
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