BOSASSO, Somalia - Islamist al Shabaab rebels attacked soldiers from Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region, leaving at least nine people dead on Saturday, officials said, in the latest sign of a resurgence by the militants in the area.
Al Shabaab promised last week to step up action in the northern Puntland area - a territory which up to now has escaped the worst of Somalia's turmoil - after merging with another militant group there.
The new alliance could mark set-back for international forces from the African Union, Kenya and Ethiopia, who have been making gains against the Al Qaeda-backed movement in other parts of the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.
Al Shabaab, fighting to impose a harsh interpretation of Islamic sharia law, has said it wants to control Puntland and scrap the licenses of Western oil and gas firms drilling in the area.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>