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Somalia: Former Al-Shabaab Deputy Leader Mukhtar Roobow Surrenders to Somali Government

Somalia: Former Al-Shabaab Deputy Leader Mukhtar Roobow Surrenders to Somali Government

Upon his arrival in Hudur, a government controlled town in Bakol region, Robow was received by Southwest President Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden, and Somali defense Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi.

The wanted man was attacked by Al-Shabaab militants in his hometown of Abal last week after initiating talks with the Somali government for his surrender.

The commander of Southwest state Police, Shine Moalim Nurow has confirmed the surrender of Mukhtar Robow Ali, known as "Abu Mansur", the former spokesman and deputy leader of Al Shabaab.

Ahmed Mohamed, a senior government security official, earlier said Robow was taken from the Bakool jungle area, where he and hundreds of his fighters had been battling al-Shabab since early last week.

Robow had fallen out with the al-Shabab leadership, which has been carrying out a purge of its ranks.

Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow, who had interviewed Robow, said the defection is significant as he is one of the founding leaders of al-Shabab, and is the only one living today.

The surrender of Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansuur follows after The U.S. State Department in consultation with the Federal Government of Somalia removed from Rewards for Justice Listing, which angered the Shabab.

Abu Mansor and militias loyal to him have recently been facing attacks from Al-Shabaab fighters in his hideout at Abal settlement.

Al-Shabab past year was named the deadliest armed group in Africa, with more than 4,200 people killed in 2016, according to the Washington, DC-based Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

Al-Shabab has been fighting for years to try to topple Somalia's central government and rule the Horn of Africa country according to their own interpretation of Islamic law.

Al-Shabab also faces a new military push from the United States after President Donald Trump approved expanded operations, including air strikes.