Somalia: Puntland accuses Federal Govt of backing al-Shabaab militants

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Somalia’s autonomous state of Puntland has accused the Federal government of backing al-Shabaab militants that took over the port town of Garacad.

Puntland Cabinet held an emergency security meeting on Tuesday morning in the state’s capital of Garowe, chaired by Vice President Abdulhakim Abdullahi Amey in the absence of President Abdiweli Mohammed Ali following the arrival of the al-Qaeda-linked extremists in the coastal town.

Addressing journalists after the meeting, Puntland’s minister of Security Abdi Hirsi Ali Qarjab accused the Federal government of Somalia of backing the al-Shabaab militants.

‘’We will defend ourselves and I urge our people to get ready for that. These militants used the Hobyo and Harardhere route and the Federal government is part of this,’’ he said.

Mr Qarjab declined to give further details on how the Federal government has supported the militants’ influx to the region.

Federal government officials have not commented on the accusation.

Al Shabaab militants captured Garacad, a coastal town in the north-central province of Mudug on Monday evening. The militants pulled back on Tuesday morning to other coastal towns in the Northern part as residents in a nearby town and security forces were preparing to launch an offensive to retake the town.

HM

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