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Somali Puntland Forces Attack al-Qaida Linked Militia

VOA News 26 July 2010

Forces from Somalia's Puntland region have attacked a militia with alleged links to the insurgent group al-Shabab. Monday's offensive targeted the militia of Mohamed Sa'id Atom, who is on a U.N. Security Council watch list.

At least four Puntland soldiers and at least five members of the militia were killed in the fighting, according to a local journalist. She says seven others were wounded.

In April, the Security Council said Atom had engaged in acts that threaten Somalia's security and stability. It said Atom has assembled a force of up to 250 fighters and has been implicated in acts of kidnapping, piracy, and terrorism. The council also said he was importing weapons in violation of a U.N. arms embargo on Somalia, and supplying arms to al-Shabab.

The insurgent group has proclaimed its allegiance to al-Qaida, and is trying to topple Somalia's government and turn the country into a strict Islamic state.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.



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