Somali military and intelligence sources said on Thursday in Mogadishu that its commandos had arrested five al-Shabaab militants, including a Sudanese national.

A senior intelligence officer said on condition of anonymity that the elite forces raided a house in Galkayo, 750 kilometres north of Mogadishu in the operation that led to the arrest.

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He identified the Sudanese suspect as Said Abdullahi-Abubakar, a bomb expert.

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Meanwhile, Gen. Ali Baashi, Somali Army’s Chief of Operations, has confirmed the arrests.

Abubakar is the first Sudanese arrested on charges of belonging to the Islamist group in Somalia.

Between 200 and 300 foreign nationals are believed to be fighting in the ranks of al-Shabaab, senior security official, Mohamed Hassan, said.

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They reportedly include people from Arab and Western backgrounds.