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ICC Note: According to reports, militants from the radical Islamist group al Shabaab killed at least seven people on Wednesday in Somalia along Kenya’s border. Although the official number of victims is not yet confirmed, included in the group of victims were a police commander and a regional official. The group frequently attacks Christians and government officials as a part of their efforts to impose Islamic law and overthrow the Western-supported government.

By Feisal Omar and Abdi Sheikh

08/26/2015 Somalia (Reuters) – Islamist al Shabaab militants killed at least seven people including a regional official and local police commander in an attack on a government convoy in southern Somalia on Wednesday, officials and the group said.

Al Shabaab attacked the convoy between Garbaharey and Baladhawo towns in the Gedo region, near the Kenyan border.

The al Qaeda-allied group frequently launches attacks on officials in its bid to topple the Western-backed government and impose its strict interpretation of Islam on the nation, which is struggling to rebuild after two decades of war.

The group now controls increasingly smaller patches of territory since an African Union force and Somali troops drove it out of major strongholds in an offensive launched last year.

“We ambushed them but it turned into a fierce battle later,” al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters. He said 18 people were killed.

Senior Somali police officer Elmi Nur said three militants and seven others, including a deputy district commissioner and a regional police commander, were killed.

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