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High profile Islamist leader defects to Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia – A high profile Islamist militant group Al Shabaab commander has surrendered to Somali government after defecting from the group.

Aden Abdi Mohamed known as “Aden Obe” an Al-Shabaab’s Social Affairs defected to government forces near Bardare town in Gedo region.

Regional deputy governor Mohamed Hussein Al-Qaadi says Obe and his friend had surrounded after talks with government officials.

“The two men gave in after we convinced them to defect”, he said.

Obe previously was a member of the Islamic Courts Union which ruled south central Somalia for six months in 2006.

He was airlifted to Mogadishu.

Obe was interrogated by intelligence officials in Somali capital Mogadishu over his defection.

There was no immediate comment from Al Shabaab over the claims.

Al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked group, has been fighting for more than ten years in Somalia.

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

It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government.

But the group still has a strong presence in many rural areas


Abdi Aziz Hassan Ibrahim is , a somali veteran journalist based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Twitter @mareegonline