Cracks emerge in IS-Somalia faction
PUNTLAND, Somalia | IS-Somalia, a faction allied to the Middle East-based ISIS, has reportedly disintegrated into two more groups as leadership wrangles within the group get nastier each day, in what is associated with its ailing leader who has struggled with ill-health for months.
Sources in Puntland said the militant group has been rocked by power struggles that have resulted in deaths. Three militants are reported to have been killed Monday as rival factions fought to control the group which is mainly based in Puntland.
Group leader and founder Abdulkadir Mumin have widely been reported to be suffering from diabetes resulting in succession battles. Mumin, a former preacher based in the UK announced the formation of the ISIS Somalia faction in 2015.
The group has its headquarters in the Galgala mountains in the Bari region but has made headways into southern Somalia. The group suffered a heavy toll in fighting with Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu and its outskirts between 2017 and 2018.
Recently, IS-Somalia announced a war against the Al-Shabaab as it tries to make a comeback after years of heavy defeats against Al-Shabaab, who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia, and who have been targeting IS-Somalia.
The group also announced that its team had targeted Al-Shabaab in heavy fighting within Puntland and announced the death of one of its commanders. It vowed to attack the Al-Shabaab group besides reclaiming most territory from the Al-Shabaab militants.
Although IS-Somalia is limited to sections of Puntland, it has been carrying out small to large scale attacks within Puntland. Last year, the US Africa Command targeted the group's hiding in Somalia, killing dozens of the fighters including a foreigner according to security reports.
The raid was the first to target IS-Somalia militants according to the US Africa Command. Also ailing is Al-Shabaab commander Omar Diriye whose ill-health has also triggered infighting within the Al-Shabaab militants of Somalia.