Al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercises in Somalia [File: Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP]

The al-Shabab armed group is based in Somalia fighting to topple the Western-backed Somali government and wants to impose a strict version of Islamic law in the Horn of Africa country.

The armed group has carried out several attacks in neighbouring countries, including Kenya, since Nairobi launched a military operation inside Somalia in 2011.

The group used to control most parts of south and central

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