Top Al-Shabab Militant ‘Surrenders’

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Somali officials say a top al-Shabab militant, Zakariya Ahmed Ismail Hersi, has given himself up. Mr Hersi, who is a leading figure in the militant group’s intelligence wing, surrendered to police in the Gedo region, BBC report.:

In June 2012, the US state department offered $3m (£1.9m, 2.5m euros) for information leading to his capture. It comes three months after al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane was killed in a US air strike.

A Somali intelligence officer, quoted by the Associated Press news agency, suggested Mr Hersi may have surrendered because of a dispute with al-Shabab members loyal to the former leader.

BBC Africa editor Mary Harper says Somali intelligence had received a tip off that he was hiding in a town close to the border with Kenya. He fell out with Godane last year and has been on the run ever since but he is still a powerful figure, she adds.

Ahmad Umar was named the new leader of al-Shabab, days after Godane’s killing last September. The US has supported the African Union (AU) force that has driven al-Shabab out of the capital Mogadishu and other towns since 2011.

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