MOGADISHU, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Four Al-Shabaab militants including top commanders surrendered to the Somali government on Thursday, officials said.
Ugaas Hassan, the Information Minister for the Southwest State in Somalia, confirmed to Xinhua that the militants agreed to lay down arms and surrender to Somali National Army and Southwest State forces in Berdale town.
"Four Al-Shabaab fighters including deputy commander of the group in the Bay region surrendered to the officials of the Somalia National Army (SNA) and Southwest state in Somalia in Berdale town, these militants decided to denounce the wrong ideology of the terrorist group Al-Shabaab," said Hassan.
The joint forces, including the SNA and African Union troops, have intensified military operations against Al-Shabaab militants in the recent past while some militants are either escaping or leaving from the group now.
"Military operations are going on in the region now, and we are welcoming anyone who is in the terrorist group to accept peace process," Hassan said.
The latest development came against a backdrop of factional wars within the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist network that has intensified this year.