Somalia’s Al-Shabab terror group has killed a foreign fighter it suspected of having links with the so-called Islamic State (Isis) in the southern town of Jilib.
The foreign fighter, an Egyptian identified as Abu Anas al-Misri, was killed during an al-Shabab operation to hunt down fighters they suspected of having links with Isis.
The al-Qaeda-linked group also arrested a number of Somali and foreign fighters during the operation to clamp down on Isis loyalists within its ranks.
In 2015, a few hundred al-Shabab fighters led by Sheikh Abduikadir Mu’min, abandoned the group and pledged allegiance to Isis. Since then, al-Shabab has been hunting down Isis loyalists and has killed a number of them.
Isis in Somalia are mainly based in the mountainous region of Glagala in northeast Somalia from where it has carried out a few attacks against Puntland state government soldiers. Its biggest success happened in October 2016 when they briefly took control of the coastal town of Qandala. Al-Shabab is worried about the growing number of Isis fighters in Somalia which could undermine its strength and influence in the Horn of Africa nation.
Al-Shabab has been fighting the Somali government and its backer – the African Union troops - for more than 10 years. It was driven out of the capital, Mogadishu, in 2011, but it is still capable of carrying out deadly attacks. Last week, the group attacked a hotel in Mogadishu and killed more than 30 people.