Six fighters killed in northern Somalia clashes


At least six fighters were killed in clashes between Somali militants linked to local warlord Mohamed Said Atom and security forces of the breakaway Puntland state.


On Friday, fighters led by Atom raided a military base near the Galgala mountains which had been lost to Puntland on Wednesday.

"The terrorists launched a hit and run attack on one of our bases near Galgala. They were defeated and four of their militants killed," said Colonel Omar Abdulahi, a Puntland security official.

"Unfortunately we lost two soldiers and three others were injured."

The warlord Mohamed Said Atom has been singled out by the UN Security Council for violating an arms embargo and is believed to be a key supplier of arms to the Al-Qaeda-inspired Shebab group that controls much of the rest of Somalia.

Puntland officials said the remote mountains risked becoming an ideal hide-out for Somalia's growing Shebab-hosted contingent of foreign jihadis, akin to Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountains.

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