Al-Shabab is an armed group based in Somalia, fighting to topple the Western-backed Somali government. It 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.
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The group used to control most parts of south and central Somalia, but since 2010, the fighters have been expelled from most major towns as the US military and a 20,000-strong African Union peacekeeping mission boosted the Somali forces.
Below we take a look at the major attacks carried out by the group in Kenya
2013: In September 2013, al-Shabab fighters stormed Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, firing indiscriminately at shoppers and killing 67 people in a siege that lasted 80 hours.
The assault horrified the world and exposed weaknesses in Kenya’s security forces.
2014: In November 2014, members of Somalia’s al-Shabab armed group hijacked a bus in Kenya and killed 28 non-Muslims on board.
“What happened in Mandera today we did in revenge for what the non-believer government has done to innocent Muslims,” Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, a spokesman for the group, told Al Jazeera.
April 2015: Al-Shabab launched an assault on Garissa University College in Kenya, killing 148, mainly students.
January 2016: Fighters from the Somali armed group assaulted a Kenyan-run military base for African Union peacekeepers, killing scores of Kenyan soldiers.
January 2019: Two explosions and gunfire heard at an upscale hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.
The attack on the Dusit hotel complex – which also houses offices and banks – sent people fleeing for their lives.
There could still be armed assailants in the building and the police operation was ongoing, reporters were told in a short briefing.