Bossaso, Somalia — Puntland forces repelled an attack by Al Shabaab fighters near Galgala Mountains, in Bari region killing 7 Al Shabaab fighters late Tuesday night, Garowe Online reports.
The attack on Puntland forces stationed at Sugure village in Bari region near the Galgala Mountains took place at around 11 pm Wednesday night.
According to the Puntland press release, a group of heavily armed Al Shabaab terrorists attacked from different sides, Puntland defense forces stationed at the frontlines near Galgala Mountains.
Puntland forces repelled the 30-minute attack killing the 7 alleged Al Shabaab fighters in the attack Tuesday night. Two Puntland soldiers were killed in clashes. Puntland security authorities are pursuing the
The press release also mentioned another incident near the same proximity as Sugure that resulted in 10 casualties. A vehicle carrying Puntland soldiers hit a mine killing 10 soldiers Tuesday night.
According to security sources, the vehicle carrying the soldiers entered a road suspected of containing mines.
According to Puntland Minister of Information Mohamud Aideed Dirir, the Al Shabaab fighters have been receiving support from elements looking for political gain and insecurity in Puntland.
Minister Dirir who spoke to GO said that recently people outside of Puntland have criticized Puntland forces' operations that netted top Al Shabaab agents and confiscated weapons and explosives.
"People have spoken out against Puntland's arrest of top Al Shabaab agents caught redhanded with evidence stating that the agents were arrested because of their clan. That is blatant disregard for security in the country and Puntland will not budge from its stance," said Minister Dirir.
Earlier this year Somaliland government officials said that they would extend clemency for any Al Shabaab agents originating from Somaliland. The move was met with heavy criticism due to the fact quite a few top ranking Al Shabaab agents are originally from Somaliland.
Mukhtar Ali Zubeyr also known as Godane, leader of the Al Shabaab terrorist organization is originally from the Somaliland region.
Al Shabaab first infiltrated the Golis Mountain range in 2010 and briefly captured Galgala town a gateway to the Golis mountains. However the insurgency was suppressed after Puntland forces began their anti-terrorist campaign in August 2010.
After the reign of Al Shabaab weakened in southern Somalia the Al Shabaab fighters began to infiltrate the Galgala mountains again through coast and land.
Minister of Security Khalif Isse Mudan gave a press conference on Wednesday stating that Puntland forces are pursuing the terrorists even through the mountainous terrain.