A senior al-Shabab militant on Saturday surrendered to the Somali government forces amid ongoing security operations to flush out members of the terrorist group in the southwest region.
The Somali National Army (SNA) officials told the state-owned Radio Mogadishu that the senior militant who has been coordinating attacks in Baidoa town and its environs for the past five years defected after reaching out to the SNA.
Several al-Shabab leaders have surrendered to government forces in the recent past during the security operations in southern and central regions.
The move comes as the militants have been launching bold attacks targeting government and electoral delegates taking part in the ongoing national elections.
The extremist group on Wednesday mounted one of its deadliest attacks in the capital, Mogadishu and in the regional presidential palace in the central town of Beledweyne where more than 50 people were killed and over 100 others wounded in the attack.