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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

Crossbones, By Nuruddin Farah

The latest novel by Somalia's great story-teller sends exiles back to a nation in free-fall

Massacre at Kenyan church raises fears of revenge attacks

Scores injured in gun and grenade strikes in remote Kenyan town near Somali border

Half relaxed, half scary: A cautious optimism takes hold

The blue-and-white uniform looks new and its wearer seems small and uncertain amid the mayhem of a Mogadishu rush hour. The drivers, many of whom are armed, are not yet used to the sight of a traffic policeman. It's something most Somalis haven't seen in their city for 20 years.

Somalia: Washington offers $33m for al-Shabab leaders

Washington has offered up to $33m (£21m) in rewards for information about top members of the extremist group al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qa'ida.

Somalia: Seamen beg for ransom to be paid

The families of merchant seamen held by Somali pirates for more than 18 months have said the hostages are being forced to call home with warnings they could suffer further abuses unless a $2.85m (£1.85m) ransom is paid.

Explosion hits downtown Nairobi

An explosion ripped through a building full of small shops in the downtown area of Kenyan capital Nairobi today, wounding an unknown number of people.

African Union troops seize key Somali town

African Union troops seized a rebel stronghold near Mogadishu from al-Qa'ida-linked insurgents today, marking a major blow against the al Shabaab rebels who have used the town to stage sporadic attacks on the capital.

Somali journalist killed by gunman is sixth this year

A radio station producer says that gunmen in Somalia have killed a Somali journalist, the sixth to be slain in the country this year.

Somaliland court sentences 17 to death for attack on military base

A military court in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland has sentenced 17 people to death for attacking a military base over a land dispute one day earlier, an official today.

One killed in grenade blast in Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa

Gunmen detonated grenades outside a night club in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa yesterday, killing one person and wounding several others in the latest attack since Kenya sent troops into Somalia to crush Islamist militants.

EU launches air attack on Somali pirates

The European Union's anti-piracy force attacked pirate bases along the Somali coast for the first time yesterday, using helicopters to destroy suspect boats.

EU naval force airstrike on Somali pirates destroys equipment

A Somali pirate says an airstrike by the European Union naval force patrolling the Indian Ocean has destroyed speed boats, fuel deports and an arms store.

Nine killed by mortar shelling in Somalia

Islamist rebels armed with mortars and machine guns attacked African Union forces in Somalia's capital Mogadishu overnight, sparking a battle that killed at least nine people, officials and residents said today.

Two Somali MPs killed and six hurt in suicide attack

At least two Somali MPs and three civilians were killed yesterday in two separate attacks.

Pre-war Kenya Nazi plot suspicions revealed

Germans who claimed to be catching butterflies in pre-war Kenya caught the attention of British officials who feared the Nazis were plotting to invade East Africa, previously secret files reveal.

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