Al Qaeda's decision to formally extend its terrorist franchise to what once was a nationalist movement in Somalia may be only a desperate joining of hands to prop up two militant groups that are losing popular support and facing increasingly deadly military attacks, analysts said.
Somalia's president asked the U.N. Wednesday to lift the arms embargo against his country, saying the recent merger between al Qaeda and al-Shabab has made the dropping of the arms ban necessary.
Six months after the U.N. declared Somalia's capital a famine zone, the number of refugees in the capital is dwindling, as most of the men have gone home to try to revive devastated herds and withered crops.
The scene in Nigeria's northern city of Kano unfolded like a script that could only have been written by al Qaeda: Several explosives-laden cars driven by suicide bombers hit multiple police stations with choreographed attacks over the course of a single hour.
A U.S. drone strike killed an al Qaeda official of Lebanese origin fighting alongside insurgents in Somalia, officials said late Saturday.
Kenya's military said its forces killed three militant fighters from al-Shabab in a battle in Somalia.
A second foreigner working with Doctors Without Borders died of his wounds in an attack in Somalia that also killed the group's country director, though the aid organization declared Friday that despite the risks it would still provide medical care in one of the world's most dangerous countries.
Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi's party called Wednesday for mass protests to "protect" the victory he claims to have won in disputed presidential polls.
Kenyan soldiers and members of an extremist Islamist militant group have been fighting each other in Somalia since Kenya invaded two months ago. Now, their spokesmen are taking the battle onto Twitter, with taunts, accusations and insults being directly traded in a rare engagement on the Internet.