Somalia: Puntland denies ISIS growing influence in its territory


GAROWE, Somalia - The Puntland state of Somalia has denied the growing influence of the IS-Somalia militants in the northern region, noting that security has been handled by security teams, putting the militants at bay despite their pressure.

Last week, the United States labeled IS-Somalia as one of the major threats in the Horn of Africa, citing the connections and influence of its Emir Mumin, who is believed to have been killed in the recent airstrike that targeted the militants in Puntland state.

The IS-Somalia group has some minimal presence in the Golis mountains within the Bari region of Somalia, where it has been conducting terror activities. The group publishes photos of its recruits more often with the majority being foreign fighters.

But Puntland says there is no security threat in the state, noting the capacity and capability of its security forces, whom it insists have managed to contain the pressure. Bari is a mountainous region, and ideal for training.

However, the officials refrained from commenting on reports that the head of the ISIS affiliate group in Somalia, Abdulqadir Mumin, was targeted by the U.S. airstrike in Puntland in the last month. The US confirmed the airstrike but was not certain about the death.

The airstrike was waged on May 31st on the outskirts of Bosaso town, 50 miles from the Central Business District of the coastal city. The United States maintains that Mumin was the target and insists he may have died, although there was no immediate confirmation.

Puntland has been fighting the militants for a while, the regional forces disrupting the terror network on several occasions. The group relocated to the state after facing rebellion from their rivals; the al-Shabaab, who are fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia.


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