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Senior al-Shabaab leaders allegedly led by Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Khalaf (Fuaad Shongole) are reported to have reached the Galgala Mountains in the Bari region of Puntland yesterday. According to local residents, the Sheikh Said Atom led Golis Mountain Mujahideen militia who recently declared allegiance to al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda has established bases in the Galgala ranges.
Amiirnuur, a pro-Shabaab website, jubilantly declared the arrival of an unidentified al-Shabaab leader on Tuesday at 3:12 pm local time (12:12 GMT). The site promises to post a recording of the leader’s address and news of his arrival in the mountains. It is suspected that Fuad Shongole, who is originally from Puntland and a member of the Awr-Table sub clan of the Darod, is the unmentioned leader. Radio Andalus, an al-Shabaab owned station similarly celebrated the arrival of hundreds of Mujahideen in Golis Mountains yesterday. The fighters are to help in the battle against the 'pro-infidel administration' of Puntland.
"Everyone is talking about al-Shabaab. Fighters led by Fuad Shongole reached the Galgala mountains. It is not clear how many fighters are with him and how they managed to get there but most people believe it is true," said Ahmed Ali, a resident in Dahar District of Sanaag region.
These reports surfaced after the Puntland president Abdirahman Faroole stated that more al-Shabaab fighters have reached the Galgala mountains after losing ground in southern Somalia.
"If the enemy moves to harm you, you have to recognize and resist them immediately. Since last August after al-Shabaab’s withdrawal from Mogadishu, they have been moving to Puntland to make bases here," cautioned President Faroole.
He added that “al-Shabaab have explored Golis Mountains and found a suitable place where they can hide from air strikes. Puntland people have a responsibility to defeat these enemies.”
He blamed Somali authorities for easing the relocation of the al-Shabaab fighters to Galgala area.
Unidentified Low-Flying Aircraft Spotted in Las-Qoray
Las-Qoray residents were alarmed by a low-flying aircrafts, which were spotted last night over Sanaag District according to Punrland officials and residents.
“Since last night, two unknown aircrafts were seen over Las-Qoray District. People woke up to the noise of the planes which created fear in the inhabitants,” said the Governor of Las-Qoray District Yusuf Jama Dibad.
“We could hear loud sounds of the aircrafts which were frequently flying over the town. No one slept last night in the town,” Mohamud Cirro, a resident of Las-Qoray told Somalia Report.