MOGADISHU, Somalia – A fierce fighting broke out between militias loyal to former Al-Shabaab deputy leader Mukhtar Robow and Al-Shabaab militants in Bokol region of southern Somalia.
The fighting started on Monday when so self-called spider group’s militias launched an ambush attack on a vehicle carrying al Shabaab officials, while traveling near Kulanjarer area of Bakol region.
The militias claimed to have killed a senior al Shabaab commander, Mohamed Hassan Barqab, who was in charge of Zakawat (tax) collection during Monday’s fighting.
There was no immediate comment from al Shabaab over the claims.
Last week, the militias known as ‘Spiders’ camped near Huddur town after fighting against al Qaeda linked al Shabaab.
The militias loyal to Robow, who was an Al Shabaab founder, but he defected the group in 2017.
He was arrested in Baidoa town, some 250km south west of the Somali capital Mogadishu, while seeking to run public office, ahead regional presidential election in the town.
Somalia accused him of bringing weapons and militias into Baidoa town before the election.
Robow has been in undisclosed detention in Somali capital Mogadishu since December 2018.