The commander of Southwest state Police, Shine Moalim Nurow has confirmed the surrender of Mukhtar Robow Ali, known as "Abu Mansur", the former spokesman and deputy leader of Al Shabaab.
At least 19 people including 13 al-Shabaab militants were killed after the militant group stormed in Abal village last week.
An army official said in June there were negotiations between the government and Robow but there were no guarantees that he would defect. The military support included reinforcement soldiers and ammunition, after delegates led by minister of security in South-West administration met Mukhtar Robow Abu-Mansor in his stronghold near Hudur town in Bakol region where local militias are battling Al-Shabaab militants who are willing to kill or capture the defected leader.
His surrender is culmination of months of talks between the Somali government, and it is believed the cancellation of the bounty for his capture helped convince Robow to give himself up to the Somalia government. "He will be flown to Mogadishu soon", Colonel Nur Mohamed, a Somali military officer, said. It was not immediately clear if the timing of the defection was linked.
Mansoor, a jihadist, has been involved in several armed Islamist groups including Al-Ittihaad Al-Islaami in the 1990s.
Al-Shabab also faces a new military push from the U.S. after President Donald Trump approved expanded operations, including air strikes.
He is among the founders of Al Shabaab, after the collapse of the Union of the Islamic Courts, a coalition of Islamists that controlled most of the southern and central regions of Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu, in 2006. They have also since lost almost all other territory they previously controlled after an offensive by Somali government troops and African Union-mandated AMISOM peacekeepers.
Al-Shabab, nevertheless, remains a formidable threat and frequently carries out bombings both in Mogadishu and other towns against both military and civilian targets.