- Regional head says faction has few fighters, threat limited
- Militants occupied port town for about six weeks last year
By Nizar Manek, 24 March 2017
An Islamic State faction in Somalia’s Puntland region numbers a maximum of 300 fighters and doesn’t pose a serious threat after its militants were driven out of a port town last year, President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said.
The Islamist fighters are “scattered in the mountains” after being “kicked out” of Qandala by security forces in early December, Puntland’s leader said Tuesday in an interview in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The numbers of militants “vary from 100 to 200 to 300 -- they’re not a threat to us,” Ali said.