The security forces of Somalia’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland were reported to have carried out an operation in the divided Galkayo town on Saturday.

The sweep came following a car bomb blast that killed a military officer in the northern Israc village on Friday, according to residents who spoke to Radio Shabelle by phone.

Authorities say they are pursuing those behind the death of Farah Isse Samatar, who died in a blast resulted from an explosive device attached to his car.

The Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab group has released a statement to claim the responsibility for the car bombing which left the army officer dead.

Galkayo has been the scene of previous attacks by the militants in the past few years as the two states – Galmudug and Puntland are trying to jointly restore peace in the town.