MOGADISHU, June 11 (Xinhua) -- Two senior leaders of militant group al-Shabab surrendered on Monday to the Somali government forces in the country's southern region of Gedo, officials said on Tuesday.
Ali Mohamed Hassan, commander of Somali forces unit 49 section 43 in Bardhere town told journalists that Mustafa Ibrahim Isaq and Mohamed Hassan Madhaley, have joined the government forces following intensified military operation on the militants in recent days.
"The two militants defected from al-Shabab extremists in Sakow town in Middle Juba region, one of them represents the militants in intelligence while the other represents prison guarding," Hassan said. He called on the other remaining cells in al-Shabab extremists to follow suit.
The two senior al-Shabab leaders who spoke to the journalists said they were misled into joining the terrorists.
"The militants misguided and preoccupied us to believe that the government members are apostates, but we don't believe that now," Isaq said.
Meanwhile, the government confirmed that the allied forces have recaptured the strategic town of Bardhere in Gedo region following intensified military operations in the area.
The ministry of information said the towns near Bardhere town in Gedo region were recaptured on Sunday in a fierce fight that also saw three al-Shabab militants killed.
The latest onslaught came barely five days after a senior al-Shabab leader was detained in a joint operation conducted by Somali National Army (SNA) and Jubaland forces in Barsanguni neighborhood in Lower Juba region.
Somali forces backed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) have intensified the operations on al-Shabab militants in central and southern Somalia to flush the militants out of those regions.