Shabab leader, wanted for $3 mln, surrenders

A Somali government soldier stands guard near blind-folded suspects detained during a security operation in Hodan district of the capital Mogadishu
A leader with the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, who has a $3 million bounty on his head, surrendered in Somalia, the Associated Press reported a Somali intelligence official as saying on Saturday.

The intelligence officer, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press, said Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi surrendered to Somali police in the Gedo region.

Hersi may have surrendered because he fell out with those loyal to Ahmed Godane, Shabab’s top leader who was killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this year, the officer added.

Hersi was one of eight top Shabab officials whom the Obama administration offered a total $33 million in rewards for information leading to their capture in 2012.

Despite suffering major losses such as losing major cities, Shabab remains a threat in Somalia and Kenya.

U.S. condemns Shabab attack
Meanwhile, the United States “strongly condemned” on Friday a Shabab attack that killed three soldiers and a civilian at African Union headquarters in Somalia, the State Department said.

“These individuals sacrificed their lives in an effort to bring lasting peace and stability to Somalia,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

She added: “The United States strongly condemns the Dec. 25 attack.”

Four Shebab rebels, who are fighting to topple Somalia’s internationally-backed government, were killed and another four captured in the attack, officials said.

“We express our deepest condolences to the families of the military and civilian personnel who were killed in this cowardly terrorist act,” Harf said.

(Associated Press and AFP)

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