March 17, 2016: Security forces of Somalia’s Puntland state have killed 20 al Shabaab fighters in a deadly battle in the village of Suuj in northern Somalia. The militants arrived in the region’s Gara’ad town seized it for a few hours before they were attacked by the forces and forced out. The militants arrived in the area in boats by sea.
According to state government officials, the al Shabaab militants that had taken control of the two areas have resulted to hiding in holes and caves owing to the fierce battle front mounted by the government forces.
According to intelligence reports the militants are the splinter faction of the al Shabaab that pledged allegiance to ISIS and were headed to Galgala mountain ranges in Bari region where the de facto leader of the ISIS affiliated group Sheikh Abdulkadir Mumin announced the allegiance shift from Al Qaeda in 2015.