Somalia: ISIS militants retreat from port town in Puntland

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BOSASO, Puntland- Fighters linked to the Islamic State's branch in Somalia have withdrawn from port town in northeastern region of Puntland in Thursday morning, a day after capturing it without resistant, Garowe Online reports.

In Wednesday morning over 50 militants entered Qandala coastal town located 75 km west of Bossaso city in Bari region, and seized control of the town and hoisted their flag at the top of administrative buildings.

However, reports from local residents, said that the militants have retreated from the town at midnight without confirming where the militants have moved to.

The retreat comes amid Puntland government preparation to carry out military operations against the group in Qandala. Yesterday, local residents were fleeing from the town for the fears of clashes between the group and Puntland forces.

So far Puntland state officials haven't released statement in regards to the situation.

The ISIS branch, which officially formed in October 2015, is led by Abdulqadr Mumin, a former Al Qaida-linked Al Shabaab commander.

The fall of Qandala town marks the first time that the fledgling Islamic State branch has been able to take control over any substantive territory in Somalia

GAROWEONLINE

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