Galgala campaign

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Galgala Campaign
Part of Somali Civil War, War in Somalia (2009-present)
Puntland map regions.png
Area under control of Puntland administration as of February 2008
Date August 8[1] - October 17, 2010[2]
Location Galgala area, Puntland, Somalia
Result Puntland victory, continuation of low level insurgency
Galgala area recaptured by Puntland
Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen

Warsangali clan militia[3]  Somaliland[4]

Commanders and leaders
Mohamed Said Atom[5] Puntland Abdirahman Mohamud Farole

Puntland Yusuf Ahmed Qeyr
Puntland Said Dheere[6]
Puntland Umar Abdullahi

Atom militia: 250[7]

 Somaliland: 70[4]

Casualties and losses
96 killed[8] 18[9]

40 injured[10]

100+ civilians killed[11]

800 people displaced (July–August)[11]

The Galgala campaign was a military campaign by Transitional Federal Government-linked Puntland, Somalia, that took place from August 8[1] until October 17, 2010.[2] It was aimed at re-gaining control of the Galgala hills,[4] which had fallen in hands of al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab commander Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom and his militia.[5][7]


Atom has been involved in smuggling arms from Puntland to al-Shabaab fighters in Southern Somalia[3] and has been implicated in incidents of piracy, kidnapping, and terrorism.[7][12]


The campaign started on August 8,[1] in response to an al-Shabaab attack on July 26[2] which left 2 Puntland soldiers dead.[13] 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.[2]


After the campaign’s conclusion, 150 of Atom’s men were reported to have defected and joined the Puntland Intelligence Agency.[12] Military sources reported that Atom “‘fled before the Galgala war started’ and left his comrades to face Puntland troops alone.”[14] It was believed that Atom had fled to Burao, Somaliland’s second largest city.[14] Burao police chief Abdirahman Fohle conducted raids to look for al-Shabaab linked militants.[15] 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.”[15]