MOGADISHU - A senior al-Shabab militant on Monday surrendered to Somali National Army (SNA) forces in Hudur town in the southern region of Bakol, officials confirmed.
Abdullahi Hassan, SNA commander in Bakol, told reporters that Olad Abdirahman, a senior al-Shabab member gave himself up and joined government forces following operations by government forces in southern regions.
"The militant contacted our forces and informed us he is willing to leave the militants and surrender to the army," Hassan said.
Ibrahim Issack Ibrahim, Hudur district security commissioner, said the militant was one of the residents of Hudur region who had served the group in various positions including being a driver.
The defected al-Shabab militant, who also spoke to the journalists, said he left al-Shabab group willingly after being part of the group for 11 years.
The move came amid intensified operations by Somali forces against al-Shabab extremists in southern regions where the militants still hold swathes of rural areas, conducting ambushes and planting land mines.