A leader of Somali group, al Shabaab, who has a three-million dollar bounty on his head, has surrendered, a Somali government official saidon Monday.
According to a report, the militant said he had long left their organisation.
Zakariya Hersi was one of seven al Shabaab leaders for whom the U.S. State Department in 2012 offered a total of 33 million dollars in reward of money for information that led to their capture.
However if true, Hersi’s surrender would be the second major blow to al Shabaab’s leadership in just a few months.
In September, the group’s main leader, Ahmed Godane, was killed by a U.S. drone strike.
“Al Shabaab leader Zakariya Ismail surrendered to government forces in El Wak, Gedo region.
“He is expected to be flown to Mogadishu tomorrow,’’ a senior government official told newsmen.
The local media also reported that Hersi’s surrender, described him as the general secretary of al Shabaab’s finance department.
Meanwhile, it did not give reasons for his surrender.
A senior member of al Shabaab’s media team said Hersi left the Islamist group two years ago.
“The government exaggerates the story just to cover the recent attack at the AU base.
“Hersi cannot have impact on al Shabaab because he is not a member,’’ the al Shabaab official told newsmen by phone, referring to this week’s attack on an African Union base in Mogadishu.