Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland has said that it will strengthen its security after the Somali Federal government declared a new operation against militant group al-Shabab.
The state’s cabinet ministers held a meeting on Monday concerning current security situation in the country, chaired by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas.
Puntland officials told reporters that they are following the developments of the operations closely and urged the security authorities to be on high alert.
‘’ We will tighten our security and foil any attempts or threats from al-Shabab. The people should work so close with the government and security forces on this issue,’’ said Puntland chief of Cabinet Mr Dek Suleiman who briefed Journalists on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting.
Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud last month revealed that the Somali army and African Union peacekeepers will soon launch operations against al-Shabab in areas still under the militant group’s control.
Since 2012, when al-Shabab lost key towns in Southern and Central Somalia, the fighters have been reportedly flowing in to Galgala mountain ranges as a safe haven.
Last month, Puntland forces raided al-Shabab hideouts in the area and captured a base, and later on recovered ammunition left out by the militia.
Al-Shabab which has links to Al- Qaeda is believed to have carried out assassinations and bomb attacks in Puntland in the past few years in which they targeted government officials, clerics, activists and local elders.