Al-Shabab commander defects to Somali forces

An al-Shabab military commander has defected and surrendered to Somali government forces, authorities in Mogadishu said.

Minister of Information Abdirahman Omar Osman confirmed on Twitter that Bishar Mumin Farah had surrendered Wednesday in the south-central part of the country, in Hiran region.

A Somali general who interviewed the defector told VOA the al-Shabab commander had been sent to Hiran, a large and populous area of central Somalia, “in order to execute attacks during the holy month of Ramadan.”

General Mohamed Ahmed Tredice said Farah left his camp around 1 a.m. Wednesday and surrendered to government troops at sunrise. He also handed over two AK-47 automatic rifles and ammunition.

“He is a young man who had been brainwashed,” but who eventually realized that al-Shabab’s activities were evil and that he no longer wanted to be a part of the militant group, the general said.