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Bombs hit Somalia ahead of East Africa leaders' meeting

Emmanuel Igunza
Wednesday February 1, 2023

Four mortar shells have hit areas near the presidential palace in Mogadishu, Somalia, hours before regional leaders meet to discuss a joint military offensive against the Islamist group al-Shabaab.

There are no immediate reports on casualties.

The leaders of Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti have arrived in the capital and are due to meet later on Wednesday for the summit which comes in the wake of recent gains by Somali government troops in the fight against the al-Qaeda affiliated group.

The militants control large areas of Somalia but have lost significant territory since government forces backed by the US, African troops and local militia launched an offensive in August.

But violence has continued, with the group carrying out attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and across central and southern areas of the country.

Ahead of the meeting, the capital was heavily secured with no flights allowed to take off or land in Mogadishu.

All roads leading to the meeting's venue have been sealed off.



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