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Somali military welcomes fighter defected from al Shabaab

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali military says its forces have welcomed Ibrahim Mansor Osman, a militant, who defected from al Qaeda linked al Shabaab.

Osman with AK-47 has laid his arms to military forces in Dinsor town, some 250km north-west of Mogadishu.

Somali military official Shine Mayow Aden says Osman had joined army forces in the town after days of phone contacts over his defection.

Aden says Osman had been fighting alongside al Shabaab for nine years.

He also urged residents in the town to forgive Osman and welcome his brave decision to denounce al Shabaab membership.

Last week, Somali military said two senior officers of al-Shabab have laid their arms to military forces in Bardere town, some 343km south west of Somali capital, Mogadishu.

A Somali chief of forces unit 49 section 43, Ali Mohamed Hassan said his forces had welcomed Mustafa Ibrahim and Mohamed Hassan Madhaley, who were in charge of militants’ intelligence unit and prisons.

On May 2, Somali military also accepted the surrender of nine fighters defected from Al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia’s UN-backed federal government based in Mogadishu.

The armed group al Shabaab is yet to comment on the defection of its fighters.

al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda linked group continues to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia

The group was pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 after a joint offensive carried out by Somalia and African Union troops.

The rebel group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.