A top intelligence official killed in Somalia’s Puntland
GALKAYO, Somalia - A senior intelligence officer has been assassinated in the country's northeastern Puntland State on Monday by the Al-Qaeda-linked extremist group Al-Shabaab, Garowe Online reports.
A security official told Garowe Online that Colonel Hashi Aden Elmi, Head of Puntland intelligence for Mudug region was gunned down near his residence in northern Galkayo by gunmen armed with pistols.
The culprits managed to escape the scene before the arrival of the police said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he isn’t authorized to discuss the murder of the spy officer.
There was no immediate comment on the assassination from the Puntland government.
Puntland, in the past few years, has seen a number of police and intelligence officers assassinated in apparent retaliatory attacks for the government's offensive against al-Qaeda hideouts in Bari region’s mountains.
Al-Shabaab has been battling the central government for 10 years from their heartland in the south and central regions, where the group has faced defeats in the battle with Somali and AU troops, losing ground.
The militants have kicked out of most of their key strongholds south by the allied troops who forced them to expand their sphere of terror insurgency to the stable northern regions of Somalia.