|Part of Somali Civil War, War in Somalia (2009-present)|
Area under control of Puntland administration as of February 2008
|Commanders and leaders|
|Mohamed Said Atom ||
Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
Atom militia: 250
|Casualties and losses|
100+ civilians killed
The Galgala campaign was a military campaign autonomous Puntland region of Somalia, that took place periodically from August 8 until October 1, 2014. It was aimed at re-gaining control of the Galgala hills, which had fallen in hands of al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab commander Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom and his militia.
The campaign started on August 8, in response to an al-Shabaab attack on July 26 which left 2 Puntland soldiers dead. In response to the crackdown, al-Shabaab launched several bombings, targeting civilian centers such as the city of Bosaso. The campaign ended when Puntland forces seized the villages of Dhagah Barur, Dhagahdheer, and Dindigle on October 17. Dindigle was al-Shabaab's last stronghold in the region.
In 2010, 150 of Atom’s men were reported to have defected and joined the Puntland Intelligence Agency. Military sources reported that Atom “‘fled before the Galgala war started’ and left his comrades to face Puntland troops alone.” It was believed that Atom had fled to Burao, Somaliland’s second largest city. Burao police chief Abdirahman Fohle conducted raids to look for al-Shabaab linked militants. He denied reports that Atom was hiding in the area, but affirmed that he would arrest “him or anyone else who is a threat to regional security.”
On 17 March 2014, the commander of Puntland forces in Galgala Colonel Jama Said Warsame “Afguduud” was assassinated in the afternoon in a bomb attack at the outskirts of Bosaso. Afguduud together with three of his security guards were rushed to hospital he was however succumbed to the critical injuries sustained from the attack and died in hospital. According to Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Dheere the attack was result of a long planned assault.
On 7 June 2014, the Ministry of Information announced that Atom had agreed to defect from Al-Shabaab. According to the Federal government ministry, Atom accused Ahmed Godane, the leader of Al-Shabaab of having a foreign agenda. "I would like to declare that as of today I have decided to resolve my religious and political issues through peaceful means and understanding," Atom said, according to the government.
On 1 October 2014, Puntland forces recaptured the last stronghold of Al-Shabaab in Galgala. According to Abdiweli Hirsi Abdille, the information minister of Puntland, troops had captured the Galgala region in an early morning offensive. The offensive lasted 2 hours, forcing insurgents to retreat.
On 3 October 2014, the Puntland government released a statement accusing Al-Shabaab of having destroyed agricultural communities in Galgala and nearby settlements including historic farms resulting in Internally Displaced People.
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|War in Somalia (2009–present)|