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Somalia appoints al Shabaab co-founder as religion minister

Somalia appoints al Shabaab co-founder as religion minister

SOMLALI Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre named a co-founder and spokesman of the Islamist al Shabaab as minister for religious affairs, a move that could either help strengthen the fight against the insurgents or provoke further clan clashes. Mukhtar Robow had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head after he co-founded al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab and served as the group's spokesman. Al Shabaab insurgents have killed tens of thousands of people in bombings in their fight to overthrow Somalia's Western-backed central government and implement its interpretation of Islamic law. Robow split from the group in 2013 and publicly denounced…
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Burundi says 10 of its peacekeepers killed in Somalia attack

Burundi says 10 of its peacekeepers killed in Somalia attack

KATHARINE HOURELD BURUNDI'S military said 10 of its African Union (AU) peacekeepers were killed in an attack on their base in Somalia, while a security source in the region and a Mogadishu-based source said dozens were dead. Burundi state television quoted army spokesperson Floribert Biyereke saying that 25 other soldiers were wounded in Tuesday's raid on a camp near the village of El Baraf in central Somalia, while 20 "al Shabaab terrorists" were also killed. The security source in the region said several follow-up operations were going on after al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants overran the camp the previous day.…
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Somali govt spokesperson wounded in bomb attack

Somali govt spokesperson wounded in bomb attack

ABDI SHEIKH and FEISAL OMAR SOMALIA'S government spokesperson was wounded in an explosion at a road junction set off by a suicide bomber in the capital Mogadishu, police and the national news agency said. The al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab, in comments on its Andalus radio station, claimed responsibility for the attack on Mohamed Ibrahim Moalimuu, who was rushed to hospital and reported to be in stable condition. At the scene of the blast, the remains of the suicide bomber were scattered on the ground close to Moalimuu's four-wheel-drive vehicle with its back windows blown off. Prime Minister Mohammed…
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Five soccer players die after blast hits bus

Five soccer players die after blast hits bus

AN explosive planted on a bus carrying soccer players in Somalia's port city of Kismayo killed at least five players, a police officer said on Friday. "We have confirmed five deaths and more than 12 injuries and we still have some players missing," Captain Ahmed Farah told Reuters by telephone from Kismayo. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on Friday evening. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed's office on its Twitter account the president had sent condolences and put the blame on al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents for the explosion. Al Shabaab, which wants to unseat the central…
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Somalia parliament’s U-turn

Somalia parliament’s U-turn

SOMALIA’S lower house of parliament voted unanimously on Saturday to cancel a two-year presidential term extension it approved last month after clashes in the capital Mogadishu and between factions of the security forces divided over the issue. The crisis has raised fears that al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents could exploit a security vacuum if state forces split along clan lines and turn on each other. The group has taken over at least one Somali town in the past week as heavily armed fighters moved from the countryside into the capital city. Mohamed's attempt to extend his term has also angered…
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Residents flee Mogadishu

Residents flee Mogadishu

ABDI SHEIKH RESIDENTS of Mogadishu have fled some neighbourhoods, fearing fresh clashes between rival factions in Somalia's security forces, in a row about presidential term limits that has fuelled worries the country could return to all-out war. Government forces also raided an independent radio station and confiscated equipment. Forces loyal to the opposition hold parts of the city and the two sides clashed over the weekend, raising fears that al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgents could exploit a security vacuum as state forces turn on each other. The unrest is the second bout of violence in Mogadishu over an extension to…
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Ugandan army kills al Shabaab fighters

Ugandan army kills al Shabaab fighters

UGANDAN soldiers working as part of a peacekeeping force in Somalia have killed 189 al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab fighters in an attack on one of their camps, the Ugandan army said. Ugandan troops are part of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, whose aim is to support the central government and stop al Shabaab's efforts to topple it. The Ugandan People's Defence Force (UPDF) said in a statement that its soldiers on Friday had raided al Shabaab hideouts in the villages of Sigaale, Adimole and Kayitoy, just over 100 km (62 miles) southwest of the capital Mogadishu. "(The raid)...…
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Somalia’s al Shabaab says behind Turkish company attack, four dead

Somalia’s al Shabaab says behind Turkish company attack, four dead

A car bomb targeting workers of a Turkish company has killed four people including one Turkish citizen in Somalia, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said. The company's staff were working on the construction of a road between Mogadishu and Afgoye, northwest of the capital, the ministry statement said. Abdiasis Abu Musab, military operation spokesman for the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab, said the group was behind the attack. Somali government officials did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment. The attack occurred outside the capital Mogadishu, according to residents in the area of the blast. Turkey has been a major source of…
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