Rival groups of al-Shabaab militants have clashed in the Northern Somalia’s autonomous region of Puntland, as brewing hostility between factions in the insurgency turned violent.
According to the local government officials, the clash took place in the remote area in Bari region on Thursday. It is the first time the rival militants have clashed in an area outside of Southern Somalia.
‘’We don’t know exactly the casualties but what we can confirm is that two terrorist groups have battled,’’ said briefly, Yusuf Mohamed, Governor of Bari region.
Both militants group have also not commented regarding the fierce clash so far.
Since the beginning of this year, Islamic State recruiters have been wooing al-Shabab’s leadership to cut ties with al-Qaeda. In May 2015, the Islamic State, popularly known as ISIS, released a short video in which members of Somali origin referred to al-Shabab fighters as “truthful mujahideen” and urged them to join their transnational state.
Pro-ISIS militants who pledged allegiance in August is led by Abdulkadir Mumin, who once lived in London but left to join al-Shabaab in 2010. According to Somali officials Al-Shabaab top leaders have ordered the group’s branch in Northern Somalia to at least kill him or to capture him alive.
The latest clashes come as the al-Shabaab group has seen a string of defections in recent months. ISIL is using a sophisticated financial package campaign to lure local al-Shabaab militants.
Fears are growing that the ISIL militants have been making inroads in Somalia.
Al Shabaab and ISIS affiliates clash in Northern Somalia
December 24, 2015