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A sports stadium in Mogadishu became a key base for al-Shabaab in Somalia as their influence expanded across eastern Africa. Photographer Johnnie Shand Kydd visited the arena after it was reclaimed by African Union forces

Book review: Fairytales for Lost Children, by Diriye Osman

Diriye Osman was born in Somalia and raised in Nairobi and London. His debut collection of short stories mirrors his own migration in its exploration of exiled Somalis. At a time when homosexuality is still illegal in most of Africa, and barely features in contemporary African fiction, this book is a welcome surprise. In sensual, erotic, explicit stories, Osman writes about young gay Somalis whose identities are shaped as much by their sexualities as their cultural origins.

Day of the Girl: A survivor’s journey after female genital mutilation

Women in my community worry that they won’t be a good Somali woman if they haven’t undergone FGM.  This is a practice that continues to control women's sexuality

Al-Shabaab fighters on training exercises near Mogadishu

US Navy Seal team fails in attempt to kill al-Shabaab leader in Somalia raid following Nairobi mall attack

Update: Despite reports last night from US officials that the target had died during heavy gunfire, it has now been confirmed that he survived the attack

Abdullahi: Stopping this money could push some Somalis into 'desperate measures'

Somali ambassador condemns UK over cash restrictions

Britain has failed to see the serious humanitarian consequences of Barclays' decision to stop trading with remittance companies in Somalia, according to the African nation's ambassador to London.

A soldier helps people inside Westgate mall on Saturday

Kenya mall attack: Military names four suspects after CCTV of Westgate siege is broadcast

Major Emmanuel Chirchir, spokesman for the Kenya Defence Forces has identified four men as gunmen in the attacks

A police officer clears barricades erected by demonstrators during riots following the killing of an Islamic cleric at Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa

Kenya: Mombasa descends into riots as Islamist cleric is murdered two weeks after Nairobi shopping centre massacre

Religious riots sparked by the murder of a popular Islamist cleric have left four protesters dead in Mombasa, setting the city on edge two weeks after Islamist militants killed dozens of people in an audacious terror attack on a Nairobi shopping centre.

The scene in Mombasa

Mombasa riots: At least four killed in Kenyan port city after imam killing

Ibrahim Omar and three others were shot dead as on Thursday

We have to stem this awful trade

The appalling tragedy in the seas off southern Sicily may well be the worst ever, in terms of numbers lost. It is certainly the bleakest reminder that neither the countries from which the victims came, nor Libya, from which they almost certainly travelled, nor Italy, nor Europe as a whole, has begun to find a way to stem this dreadful trade.

Kenya shopping mall attack: Politicians to quiz senior security officials over 'intelligence failings' prior to deadly siege

Reports allege that security services had at least twice warned the government of an attack as Kenyan Red Cross says 39 people are still listed as missing

Video footage released last week appeared to show a man claiming to be Boko Haram's leader Abubakar Shekau

Boko Haram insurgency: The conflict in northern Nigeria crying out for more attention – and less violence

The group lives up to its name - which translates as 'Western education is sinful' - by shooting children taking exams and burning down dozens of schools

Photo released by the Kenyan Presidential office, showing the remains of cars and other debris photographed from the rooftop of the car park outside the Westgate Mall on 26 September

Kenya mall attack: Sixth Briton confirmed dead after Nairobi Westgate shopping centre massacre

Foreign Office 'cannot rule out the potential for further British casualties'

Photo released by the Kenyan Presidential office, showing the remains of cars and other debris photographed from the rooftop of the car park outside the Westgate Mall

Kenya Shopping mall attack: ‘Deadly pipeline’ of US men leaving for Somalia to join al-Shabaab

Since 2007, 22 young men have left Minnesota, as well as two women

A soldier helps people inside Westgate mall on Saturday

Kenya shopping mall attack: Nairobi hostages were tortured before they were killed, says police doctor

Rumours of rapes, disfigurement and beheadings are rife in Kenya’s capital

Smoke rises over the mall yesterday

Was the White Widow in Westgate mall? The evidence is scant

As official accounts unravel, it's best to exercise caution on this sensational link

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
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Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea