Mohammed Abdullah Hassan's fort in Taleh.
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Taleh is home to several historic forts and structures dating from the 1900s and earlier. Of these, there are five forts erected by Mohammed Abdullah Hassan's former Dervish State in present-day Sool and Sanaag. Constructed between 1910 and 1915, most of the edifices are concentrated in the Sanaag region, including Jida Ali, Midhisho, Shimbir Bariis and Badhan. Taleh/Taleex is the largest of the structures. It was built around a collection of Dervish tombs, the earliest of which belong to Sultan Nur Ahmed Aman and Carro Seed Magan, the Dervish leader Hassan's mother. From 1910 to 1912, the Dervish constructed the main fort around the older tombs. They spent the next two years in the mountainous regions of Sanaag building three more smaller forts.
In 1919-1920, the British bombarded the Sanaag forts, where most of the Dervish had operated since 1913. Having destroyed the structures and driven out Hassan's men to Taleh in 1920, they finally attacked the town, assisted by horsemen and Somali clan heads. The settlement was bombarded by the Royal Air Force on 4 February and taken days later, with the British having defeated the last pockets of Dervish resistance. Among the casualties at Taleh were Ibrahim Buqul and Haji Sudi. The former was the commander of the Dervish at Taleh, and the latter was a long-standing member of the movement according to Douglas Jardin (1923) and Henry Rayne (1921). Another Dervish leader, Aw Yusuf Bare, one of the chief commanders of the fort, was captured alive and later executed by former Dervish Abdi Dhere, who had defected to the opposition in 1919. Hassan himself managed to escape to the Ogaden, where his Dervishes were later routed in a 1921 raid led by the clan leader Haji Warabe.
Although the term Taleh or Taleex is often used to describe the entire Dervish fort complex in the town, it more strictly applies to only one of the structures in a four-part compound. The latter complex includes Falat, Silsilad, Dar Ilaalo and Taleh.
|“||The main fortress, Silsilat, is about 350 feet long by 300 feet broad. The two buildings next in importance are Dar llalo, the look-out tower, some 50 feet high, built on the top of a hillock close behind Silsilat, and Taleh (in a restricted sense) of similar height, built on lower ground to the east.||”|
In 2012, Taleh was named the headquarters of Khatumo State, a newly established autonomous region in northern Somalia. Local control is disputed between Khatumo State (formerly HBM-SSC or Hoggaanka Badbaadada iyo Mideynta SSC) and the autonomous Puntland and Somaliland regions of Somalia.
Taleh has a number of academic institutions. According to the Puntland Ministry of Education, there are 8 primary schools in the Taleh District. Among these are Kalad, Labas, Aroley and Halin. Secondary schools in the area include Jeerin.
Air transportation in Taleh is served by the Taleh Airport. The facility is named in honor of Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, leader of the Dervish State. Air travel to Taleh Airport was planned and organized by Khatumo State officials. On 4 December 2012, the airport hosted its inaugural flight from Mogadishu, the national capital.
- Abdisamad Ali Shire – former Vice President of Puntland
- Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar – current Vice President of Puntland
- Saado Ali Warsame – a Somali singer-songwriter and former politician
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- Douglas Jardine, 'The Mad Mullah of Somaliland.' 8vo. London 1923.
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