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Rival Somali forces face off over flashpoint Sool zone

Armed forces from Somalia's rival northern regions faced off on Wednesday over a contested region, with both the United Nations and United States calling for calm. Troops from self-declared Somaliland in the northwest and soldiers from autonomous Puntland in the northeast have deployed around the town of Taleh, a contested zone in the northern Sool region. The two regions claim several areas in border regions including potentially valuable oil blocks, with both sides in certain cases issuing overlapping exploration licences.

Chastened by Islamists, Somalia redraws Mogadishu security plan

By Drazen Jorgic MOGADISHU (Reuters) - When Islamist militants blasted their way to within 50 meters of the Somali president's residence, they forced a sharp rethink of security in the capital Mogadishu. The deadly February 21 assault on the Villa Somalia compound was the closest al Qaeda-linked insurgents had got to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Two Kenyans kidnapped by Somali militants in 2011 freed

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Two Kenyans kidnapped by Somali Islamists in 2011 have been found alive in Somalia, officials said. Kenyan officials said the two men were rescued by Kenyan troops who are part of the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia but al Shabaab rebels said the duo were freed in February after converting to Islam. "They are not quite with it. They're incoherent and dazed," said Willy Wesonga, the Kenyan Defence Force (KDF) spokesman.

Kenya deports Somalis, arrests hundreds in crackdown after attacks

By Humphrey Malalo NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenya said on Wednesday it had deported 82 Somalis and rounded up hundreds of others without proper documents, part of a security crackdown launched after repeated attacks claimed by militants from neighboring Somalia. Police had detained 472 people in the past few days, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters at a stadium where other people were being screened to establish their identity.

Two foreign U.N. workers killed in Somalia

By Abdiqani Hassan BOSASSO, Somalia (Reuters) - A Briton and a Frenchman working for the United Nations were shot dead on Monday at an airport in north-central Somalia, officials said. A U.N. mission spokesman said it was not clear who was behind the killings. But one witness said the pair were attacked by a man in a police uniform while they sat in their car at Galkayo airport.

Two foreign UN workers killed in Somalia

By Abdiqani Hassan BOSASSO (Reuters) - A Briton and a Frenchman working for the United Nations were shot dead on Monday at an airport in north central Somalia, officials said. A U.N. mission spokesman said it was not clear who was behind the killings. But one witness said the pair were attacked by a man in a police uniform while they sat in their car at Galkayo airport.

Kenyan police quell unrest after Islamist shooting: witness

By Joseph Akwiri MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - Kenyan police fired in the air and unleashed tear gas to disperse scores of Muslim youths angered by the killing of a prominent Islamist in the port city of Mombasa this week, a Reuters witness said on Friday. Tensions have been simmering in the tourist hub since Tuesday when unknown attackers shot dead Abubakar Shariff, more commonly known as Makaburi, who was accused by the United States and U.N. Security Council of supporting Somali militants.

Kenyan Muslim groups threaten protest over Islamist shooting

By Joseph Akwiri MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - Two prominent Kenyan Muslim rights groups threatened on Wednesday to stage street protests in the port city of Mombasa unless the government met a Saturday deadline to say who had killed a prominent Islamist. The ultimatum was issued a day after the drive-by shooting of Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, who the United States and U.N. Security Council accuse of supporting the Somali militant group al Shabaab.

Somalia government makes gains but Shebab defiant

Somalia's government is celebrating the capture of a string of towns from Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, but the Islamists say they will retaliate and warn the "war is far from over." The offensive by African Union forces backing Somali government troops began last month, with Shebab fighters largely fleeing in advance, escaping unscathed to strike back in guerrilla attacks.

Prominent Islamist shot dead on Kenyan coast: police

By Joseph Akwiri MOMBASA, Kenya (Reuters) - A prominent Kenyan Islamist, accused by the United States and U.N. Security Council of supporting the Somali militant group al Shabaab, was shot dead on Tuesday, police said. Abubakar Shariff, also known as Makaburi, was killed as he left a court compound about 15 km (10 miles) north of the port city of Mombasa, police chief for Kisauni area Richard Ngtia told journalists. Makaburi had been attending a court hearing.
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