Al-Qaeda-linked militants captured a town in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland, after taking over a military base.
Al-Shabaab fighters seized Af-Urur on Saturday after soldiers moved from the base due to a military tactic, Farah Ali, a military officer said by phone.
Puntland is situated on the Gulf of Aden, near the entrance to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest shipping channels. Like the rest of Somalia, the semi-autonomous region is battling militants from the al-Shabaab group, an al-Qaeda affiliate.
Bari Region (Puntland) of Somalia is also facing another front of armed conflict with Somaliland (separatist) region in Somalia over clan territories where both Puntland and Somaliland adminstrations claim to have authority over the disputed clan villages. Political analysts in Somalia accuse the UAE fueling the conflict in side Somalia where the UAE supports some warring groups in side Somalia, and seeks to create wider regional conflict.