The Isis group has claimed killing 14 al-Shabab fighters in a clash in northeastern Somalia. Amaq, an Isis news agency said the fighting took place at Bi’ir Mirale village on December 16th in the Puntland region.
“Yesterday, soldiers of the caliphate leaped on a grouping of members of the al Qaeda organisation in Somalia near B’ir Mirali southwest of Qandala, where they had been preparing to attack the Islamic State’s position,” the statement from Amaq News Agency said. “Fourteen Shabab fighters were killed and others were wounded and their weapons and equipment were seized.”
Last month, Isis warned of an impending attack if the al-Qaeda-linked group did not stop targeting and executing its fighters in Somalia. Al-Shabab has been targeting Isis members since October 2015 when a few hundred fighters abandoned the group and announced allegiance to Abubakar al-Baghdadi. Isis is unlikely to defeat al-Shabab in Somalia. Its fighters are outnumbered and it does not control any geographical area.
With its caliphate in a shambles in the Middle East, Isis could be showing its determination to reconstitute itself in the war-torn Horn of Africa country. The group started expanding its influence by sending operatives to the capital, Mogadishu, and major towns and started collecting taxes from businesses.