MOGADISHU, Somalia May 30 (Garowe Online) – A man considered to be one of the Somali capitals most notorious warlords was kidnapped Friday by Somali insurgents as he traveled between the inland town of Baidoa and Mogadishu, sources said.
Osman “Atto” Ali, now a member of the Somali parliament, was not traveling with armed guards when he was captured by suspected insurgents manning a checkpoint.
An unidentified individual who spoke on behalf of Islamist insurgents waging war on Somalias interim government told a Mogadishu-based radio station that the group decided to release the ex-warlord after consultations.
MP Atto was captured in the town of Lego, in Lower Shabelle region. According to the Islamist spokesman, Atto was traveling to Mogadishu when he drove by a checkpoint manned by Islamist gunmen.
The former warlord-turned-parliamentarian was later released, but he has not spoken publicly about his ordeal yet.
Sources in Baidoa told Garowe Online that MP Atto has been under house arrest in Baidoa for months, partially explaining his long absence from the political scene.
Islamist guerrillas seized control two towns today the coastal town of ‘Adale, in Middle Shabelle region, and Lego, which is a strategic town on the road that connects Baidoa to Mogadishu.
Somali and Ethiopian troops who routinely pass through the Lego area have been ambushed numerous times by insurgents.