SOMALIA: Puntland islamist leader pledges allegiance to al-Shebab

Published: July 27, 2010

Puntland islamist leader pledges allegiance with Al ShababSheikh Mohamed Said Atom an Islamist leader based in the remote mountains village of Galgala (North east of Somalia) pledged his allegiance to al-Shebab after his militia clashed with Puntland forces, on Monday.
Mohamed Said Atom, is one of a handful of men singled out by the UN Security Council as violating an arms embargo on Somalia, has established bases in Galgala village in the mountains region of Sanaag, Puntland State of Somalia.
In a teleconference on Paltalk Mohamed Atom told several of his supporters that he was part of al-Shebab movement, when asked if he has any links with the group.
“…We are Al-shebab, and Al-Shebab are us, we are joined in the same struggle to fight for the establishment of an Islamic state in Somalia…” said Mohamed Said Atom.
The Al Qaeda-linked al- Shebab insurgent group has been mainly active in southern and central Somalia in recent years, focusing its military efforts on trying to topple the western-backed government in Mogadishu.
Yesterday, more than 6 Puntland soldiers and at least 11 of Atom’s men were killed in heavy fighting near the village of Karin, 40km south of Bosaso city, the commercial capital of Puntland State.
The fighting began after a group of heavily armed militia launched a brazen pre-dawn attack on a checkpoint controled by the Puntland security forces.
At least 4 wounded militia were captured, one of them was Jama Ismail Duale a well known islamist suspected of carrying out previous attacks in Puntland. According to hospital officials, Jama died for his wounds, later on Tuesday.
“…Jama is one of the men who are on the international terrorist list….”said Abdirahman Farole, the President of Puntland.
Farole called the latest attack a serious security threat not only to Puntland but to the whole wider region, he called for neighboring countries to help their fight against the insurgents.
Puntland security forces are currently surrounding the mountains village of Galgala were Shiekh Atom is based.
Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shebab movement claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in Kampala that ripped through crowds watching the football World Cup final on July 11, killing 76 people.
Hussein Farah
Horseed Media

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