Sep 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:33 AM, Sep 22, 2017
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Militant Islamists have attacked a Somali military base and police station near the border with Kenya, killing eight soldiers, an official has said.

The al-Shabab militants rammed the base in Beled Hawa town with an explosives-packed vehicle, and then stormed it on foot, Mohamud Hayd Osman added.

Al-Shabab said it had killed 30 soldiers in the hit-and-run attack.

It has carried out a spate of attacks in Somalia and Kenya since launching an insurgency more than a decade ago.

The African Union has an 18,000-strong force helping the UN-backed Somali government tackle the militants.

The assault on Beled Hawa also left dozens of civilians wounded.

The militants also blew up the police station and a phone mast, before retreating, Mr Osman added.

The assault shows that al-Shabab remains a dangerous force, despite losing territory to the AU force and some of its top commanders being killed in US air strikes, reports the BBC Somali service's Bashkas Jugsodaay from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

In January, al-Shabab said it had killed 50 Kenyan soldiers in an assault on their base in Kolbiyow town in southern Somalia.

Kenyan troops are part of the AU force in Somalia.

 

Somali authorities have arrested seven head teachers who they accuse of meeting al-Shabab militants.

They are said to have discussed changing the curriculum at private schools to favour the Islamist group's ideology.

Each of the principals is responsible for around 1,000 students, ranging in age from seven to 15.

Al-Shabab has been waging a war against Somalia's federal government for the last 10 years.

Mahad Hassan Osman, the information minister for the central Hir-Shabelle region, told the BBC's Somali service that the teachers had been intercepted and arrested near the town of Jowhar.

''We arrested them 15km outside the town.

"They were attempting to change the school's curriculum to suit what the group believes in, which is the implementation of strict Islamic law.''

The minister has said the teachers will be taken to court once an investigation has taken place.

Al-Shabab, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda, has been pushed out of Somalia's main towns but still controls many rural areas.

The militant group launched its own curriculum in April, and produces school textbooks reflecting its Islamist agenda.

His lawyers argued that the killing was an accident, the AFP news agency reports.

They said that the minister's car attracted suspicion after it drove up behind the car carrying the auditor general, who the soldier was protecting.

His lawyers argued that the killing was an accident, the AFP news agency reports.

They said that the minister's car attracted suspicion after it drove up behind the car carrying the auditor general, who the soldier was protecting.

At 31, Mr Siraji became Somalia's youngest-ever member of parliament last November before becoming the minister of public works earlier this year.

He grew up as a refugee in neighbouring Kenya, home to hundreds of thousands of Somalis who fled drought and conflict, and was seen a role model for his widely admired determination to succeed.

Sensing his popularity with the youth, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo appointed him to the cabinet.

When Mr Siraji was killed, the president cut short a visit to Ethiopia to attend his state funeral.

Somalia has been wracked by conflict since the long-serving ruler Siad Barre was ousted in 1991.

It is currently battling militant Islamists from the al-Shabab group, which is affiliated to al-Qaeda.

Somalia's militant Islamist group al-Shabab says it has carried out a major assault on a military base in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

Its fighters killed 61 government troops and seized 16 vehicles in the dawn raid, the group said.

A Puntland government minister has denied the high death toll, but did not give separate casualty figures.

The al-Qaeda-linked group has carried out several big attacks on military bases in Somalia.

In January, it said it had killed 50 Kenyan soldiers in an assault on their base in Kolbiyow town in the south of the country.

Kenyan troops are part of an 18,000-strong African Union (AU) force helping the UN-backed government tackle al-Shabab in Somalia.

In the the latest attack, the militants withdrew after more than three hours of fighting with government forces, residents told the BBC.

The attack took place on the base near the remote Galgala Mountains, about 70km (43 miles) from the port city of Bosaso.

Confirming the attack, Puntland Security Minister Abdiaziz Hirsi said that an investigation was under way and details would be given later.

The Galgala Mountains are a stronghold of al-Shabab, but a faction of militants broke away in 2015 to affiliate themselves with the Islamic State group.

Somali militants have stoned a man to death after an Islamic court convicted him of adultery.

Dayow Mohamed Hassan, 44, was buried neck-deep and pelted to death with stones by al-Shabab fighters.

He was convicted of being in an adulterous relationship with a woman and impregnating her, despite having two wives, an official said.

Al-Shabab occasionally passes such sentences for sexual offences in areas it controls in Somalia.

In 2014, a teenage boy was stoned to death after being convicted of raping a woman.

In 2008, a young girl was killed in a similar manner after being convicted of adultery.

In the latest case, a woman filed a complaint of rape against Hassan, but the court tried him for adultery as it is easier to prove, says BBC Somali's Mohamed Mohamed.

Hundreds of people watched him being stoned death in Ramo Adey village in the south-central Bay region, said Moalim Geedow, the al-Shabab governor for the area.

"The man had a third woman who was a divorcee... He deceived her, saying that he went to a sheikh [religious leader] and that he married her," Mr Geedow told Reuters news agency.

"However, when the woman got pregnant, the two families debated and there was no trace of valid matrimony. The court ruled he did not marry her legally and he was stoned to death."

Al-Shabab is fighting to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.

It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government.

But the group, linked to al-Qaeda, still has a strong presence in many rural areas.

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