Two top Al-Shabaab Commanders surrendered in the notorious Gedo region along the Kenya-Somalia border on Tuesday as crackdown intensified in the war torn nation.

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Officials say Aden Abdi Mohamed known as “Aden Obe” surrendered Tuesday near the main Bardhere town. Aden Obe surrendered with another al-Shabab official identified as Food Aden Mohamoud who is described as a taxation official.

Obe held various positions with al-Shabab, including Consultative Council member, and head of Social Affairs. Most recently, he worked for al-Shabab as head of logistics in Lower Jubba region, according to Somali officials.

Deputy Governor of Gedo region Mohamed Hussein Al-Qaadi said the two men have been in contact with federal government officials who convinced them to defect. He said their defection is a “setback” to al-Shabab.

Obe previously was a member of the Islamic Courts Union which ruled south central Somalia for six months in 2006.

In March this year, at Bura Hache town within Gedo region, KDF officers attached to AMISOM killed three Al-Shabaab militants and captured one of them. 

KDF Spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Njuguna, said the incident took place at about 2pm as the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers patrolled the area in the northern sector.

Lt Col Njuguna said KDF soldiers will "remain vigilant and continue to relentlessly pursue the terrorists" to ensure peace and security in Kenya.

The progress comes amid ongoing operation to rescue two Cuban doctors who were abducted from Mandera town in Kenya by the militants. Sources say the doctors were pictured alive in El Adde town still within the Gedo region.

While the KDF team deployed deadly Rangers Strike Regiment, nothing is yet to materialise. It is believed that those who surrendered could give an important clue on possibilities of rescuing the doctors.