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For the villages in Iran, see Taleh, Iran.
تلأ ح
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan's fort in Taleh.
Mohammed Abdullah Hassan's fort in Taleh.
Taleh is located in Somaliland
Location in Somaliland.
Coordinates: 9°8′51″N 48°25′15″E / 9.14750°N 48.42083°E / 9.14750; 48.42083
Country  Somalia
Region Sool
sool Taleh
 • Total 5,000
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Taleh (Somali: Taleex, Arabic: تلأ ح‎) is a historical town in the eastern Sool region of Somalia. It served as the headquarters of the pre-independence Dervish State.[1]


Main article: Dervish State

Dervish forts[edit]

Overview of Hassan's fort

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.[2]


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.[3] 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.[4]

Taleh forts[edit]

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 broader Taleh District has a total population of 25,354 residents.[5]


In 2012, Taleh was named the headquarters of Khatumo State, a newly established autonomous region in northern Somalia.[6] 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.[7]


Taleh has a number of academic institutions. According to the Puntland Ministry of Education, there are eight primary schools in the Taleh District. Among these are Kalad, Labas, Aroley and Halin.[8] Secondary schools in the area include Jeerin.[9]


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.[6][10]

Notable residents[edit]


  1. ^ Laurence, p.47.
  2. ^ a b The Geographical Journal, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Aug., 1931), pp. 125-128
  3. ^ The Times, 18 February 1920, p. 9 and Illustrated London News and the Sphere, both of 17 April 1920
  4. ^ Douglas Jardine, 'The Mad Mullah of Somaliland.' 8vo. London 1923.
  5. ^ "Regions, districts, and their populations: Somalia 2005 (draft)" (PDF). UNDP. Retrieved 21 September 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "What is Khatumo State?". Somalia Report. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Somaliland’s Quest for International Recognition and the HBM-SSC Factor". Wardheernews. 30 June 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Puntland - Primary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Puntland - Secondary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Hashi, Ahmed. "Khatumo State Gains Access to International Air Travel". Awdalstate. Retrieved 27 September 2013. 


Coordinates: 9°8′51″N 48°25′15″E / 9.14750°N 48.42083°E / 9.14750; 48.42083