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SOMALIA: Al-Shabab militants escape from a rehabilitation center in Garowe


At least 13 al-Shabab militants escaped from a rehabilitation center in Garowe, the capital of Puntland State on Sunday night.

According to security officials, the escape occurred at around 8 p.m. local time, when the militants managed to scale a wall and slip into the darkness, the sources said.

The men were al-Shabab fighters captured during gun battles between Puntland forces and the militants in March 2016 after al-Shabab launched an ill-fated seaborne raid on coastal towns.

All underage fighters were placed at the rehabilitation center in an effort to reintegrate them into the society.

One of the militants was caught on Monday while three others were apprehended on Tuesday. The six on the run include Tahlil Hussein Ali, who is believed to be the escapees’ leader.

“Officials believe these men are in the countryside still running from security forces,” said an intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Puntland region officials refused to speak to the media about the escape.