Somalia: Puntland forces approach Qandala, led by Bari Governor
BOSSASO, Puntland- State security forces, who been mobilized to launch an anti-terror operation against group linked to Islamic State franchise in Puntland, reported to have reached Karin village near Qandala, Garowe Online reports.
Last October, Abdiqadir Mumin the leader of ISIS faction in Puntland has captured port town Qandala, located 75 km east of Bossaso city. Sources tell GO that Puntland forces have reached Karin village, located 30 km away from Qandala, but so far no battle was reported yet.
“Still fighting didn’t take place, our forces are ready and vigilant from suspected bombs planted in the surrounding areas by ISIS fighters,” said a security official who spoke under a condition of anonymity.
Other sources indicated that ISIS fighters have placed roadblocks along the roads that lead to Qandala.
On Friday, 6 suspected militants who defected from the ISIS group were arrested at an area between Buru’ and Ba’ad villages near Bossaso, the commercial city of Puntland state.
The security forces led by Bari Governor Yusuf Mohamed Waeyd Dhedo, are attempting to conduct the first offensive against the Islamic State to recapture the port town from the militant group.
In October 2015, defected fighters from Al Shabaab group led by Abdiqadir Mumin has declared allegiance to ISIS in Puntland region and since then the group was recruiting and training new fighters to strengthen their grip in the region.
Puntland, located northeastern of Somalia has been relatively stable compared to the rest of Somalia but attacks by the terrorist groups are posing serious risks to the stability of the region.