Puntland vows to retake Qandala from ISIL fighters
President of the northeastern semi-autonomous state of Puntland Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas vowed to retake Qandala, a small port town in eastern Bosaso city from pro-Islamic State fighters.
ISIL militants took the town last week, and hosted their black flag over the administrative buildings and police station in the small seaside town on the Gulf of Aden coast of Puntland state.
Upon his arrival in Bosaso after UAE trip, Puntland president Abdiweli Gaas said they readied anti-ISIL push, and will send hundreds of special forces to deal with the Daesh fighters in the coastal city of Qandala.
“They (ISIL militants) don’t have the power to remain in control of Qandala, Puntland state forces will launch a counter-offensive to liberate the town from the so called Islamic state fighters,” he added.
The Islamic state militants-held Qandala, lies around 75km east of Bosaso port town in Bari region, the commercial hub of Puntland state of Somalia.
The ISIL militants — led by former Shabaab cleric Abdiqadir Mumin — switched allegiance from Al Qaeda to Islamic state in 2015, but have done little since their appearance in Puntland’s Galgala mountains.