Somalia: Former Al-Shabaab deputy leader surrenders to Govt forces

In June the US cancelled a $5m reward offered for Robow's capture

"Robow and his seven bodyguards are now in Hudur with local officials".

However, the South West state of Somalia said on Saturday that it provided a military support to former defected leader from Al-Shabaab.

Former Somali insurgent leader Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur has defected to the government, a military official said on Sunday, severing ties with Islamist group al Shabab two months after the US quietly removed a $5 million reward for his capture.

Since then, there have been skirmishes involving Abu Mansoor loyalists and pro-Somali government forces on one hand and the attacking Al Shabaab fighters on the other.

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. He said it had sent soldiers to try to defend him. "He will be flown to Mogadishu soon", Colonel Nur Mohamed, a Somali military officer, told Reuters by phone from the southwestern town of Hudur.

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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. It was not immediately clear if the timing of the defection was linked.

"It is not a good news".

His surrender is culmination of months of talks between the Somali government, and it is believed the cancellation of the bounty for his capture helped convince Robow to give himself up to the Somalia government.

Al-Shabaab aims to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state.

They have also since lost almost all other territory they previously controlled after an offensive by Somali government troops and AU-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers.

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