Former Al-Shabaab vice head surrenders to Somali government

Former deputy al-Shabaab leader and spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, known as Abu Mansoor, has surrendered himself to Somali government earlier on Sunday, authorities confirmed.

Mohamed Abdi, Bakol region governor, told Anadolu Agency over the phone that the cleric with his fighters came to the government-controlled Hudur town.

Mansur was taken from the southwestern region of Bakol by Somali Defense Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi, and deputy National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) commander and arrived in capital Mogadishu on Sunday afternoon, according to authorities.

Local media reported that Abu Mansoor is in Somalia’s state house in Mogadishu to meet Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the prime minister.

At least 19 people including 13 Al-Shabaab militants were killed after the militant group stormed in Abal village last week.

Abal is Abu Mansoor’s stronghold located 390 kilometers (242 miles) southwest to capital Mogadishu.

Abu Mansoor deserted al-Shabaab in 2013. After his formal announcement, the US removed his name from the list of wanted terrorists, a move which the South West State administration welcomed.