Puntland state declares war against terrorist groups following jail attack

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The fight against Al-Shabaab in Puntland, the northern federal state of Somalia, could take a new dimension following the recent pronouncement by the Federal State president Said Abdullahi Deni, who visited Bosaso on Friday moments after the prison raid.

Donned in military fatigue, Deni, who is the 6th president of the state, fired warning shots at the militants, who are currently trying to gain ground. The Al-Shabaab militants are rare in Puntland but in recent days, they have been making inroads to the region.

As a sign of showing commitment to the war, Deni, who was in Bosaso, asked locals to be confident as he launched an offensive against Al-Shabaab. The operation is currently going on across the northern region, spearheaded by Puntland security forces.

The Puntland president Said Abdullahi Deni told troops to be on ‘high alert’ and prepare for operations to degrade terrorists following the Bosaso prison attack by Al-Shabaab. According to him, the preparedness of security forces makes it easier for them to handle the militants.

Deni asked locals to cooperate with security forces for them to make the war “easier for us”. He said that the prison raid was not an isolated incident but pledged to ensure perpetrators are smashed in the ongoing operation across the state.

The security team managed to rearrest several inmates who had been “rescued” by the militants from jail on Friday evening. During the offensive, at least 20 militants were killed by the Puntland forces while four others were captured alive, the security team added.

Al-Shabaab has a minimal presence in Puntland but in recent weeks, they have been attacking civil servants, security forces, and innocent civilians. Also present in Puntland is ISIS militants in Somalia, who are said to be operating from the Goli mountains.