On the advice of teachers at Suley's religious school in the city of Kismayo, he and 39 other students joined an Islamist training camp in 2006. They learned to plant land mines and plan assassinations.
“Every day I would see casualties from my side,” Suley said.
He says he became disillusioned by the deaths and from seeing senior commanders send young recruits - often children - to the front lines while they themselves stayed out of harm's way. Being shot by the foreign fighter was the last straw, but now Suley has nowhere to go. A Nairobi-based security official said scores had defected from al-Shabab since 2007 but there was no programme to reintegrate them and if Suley ventured outside the small area controlled by the government he was likely be killed. The government - which is totally dependent on foreign support - is trying to design a reintegration programme but donors are relucant to back it because disarmament is complicated and the financial commitment could grow. Somali defence minister Abdihakim Mohamud Hajji Fiqi said there have been at least seven defections so far in 2011. - Sapa-AP
Defection reveals foreigners' role in Somali war