MOGADISHU, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Some 107 al-Shabab fighters have surrendered to the government forces of Somalia between July and August, the country's counterterrorism center said Thursday.
Abdullahi Mohamed Nor, the director of the National Center for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism, said the militants surrendered in four states -- Hirshabelle, Galmudug, Southwest and Jubaland states.
"Those who surrendered include young children who were radicalized, youth, women and group commanders and they will be offered amnesty and then taken for rehabilitation," the director told journalists in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
He urged the group fighters intending to benefit from the government's amnesty to follow suit, saying they would welcome defecting from the al-Shabab terror group.
"There are two reasons why the number of al-Shabab members surrendering to the government has increased. First, it is the pressure of the ongoing offensive operations in the country and second, it is that they are making use of the president's amnesty offer," he said.
This move comes as the fighting between the Somali National Army and the group fighters intensified on several fronts mainly in south-central Somalia. ■