Somalia Govt denies backing al-Shabaab militants

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Somalia’s Federal government on Wednesday strongly denied Puntland allegations that they are backing al-Shabaab militants flow to the North-Central coastal villages of the autonomous state.

Dozens of al-Shabaab fighters with speedboats captured Garacad, a former pirate hub on Monday evening before withdrawing the next day.

Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Omar Arte, who is currently in London described the accusations as ‘’unfortunate’’.

‘’First of all nothing exists between us [government] and al-Shabaab, such statement is just unfortunate. We should rather work closely on security matters,’’ he said in an interview with the BBC Somali Service.

Mr Arte added that the al-Qaeda-linked militants decided to change their strategy by moving to a new area after coming under pressure, stressing the importance of forming collaborative efforts to contain them.

Puntland’s Security Minister Abdi Hirsi Ali Qarjab yesterday accused the Federal government of having a hand in the militants’ influx to the North-Central coastal villages.

HM

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