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At least 19 civilians killed by extremists in Somalia

Aftermath of an attack by Al-Shebab extremists in Somalia   -  
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Somalia

At least 19 civilians were killed in an attack by radical Shebab Islamists on a road in central Somalia on Friday night.

According to local officials and clan leaders, at least eight passenger minibuses and trucks travelling on a road between the towns of Beledweyne and Maxaas were intercepted, bundled and set on fire killing their passengers.

The attackers are said to have abducted several other people whose fate remains unknown.

The attack took place two weeks after a spectacular assault by the al-Qaeda affiliated Shebab on a hotel in the capital Mogadishu that left at least 21 people dead and 117 injured.

In statement, the Shebab extremists announced they had targeted fighters from a local sub-clan.

In August security forces and local fighters announced they had recaptured several villages previously under al-Shebab control.

On Saturday night, Somalia's president condemned the despicable acts on innocent civilians. 

Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, who has been facing a resurgence of extremist activity since his election in May, promised that the government will spare no effort in the fight against terrorism.

Since 2007 that the radical group has been waging a war against the internationally-backed federal government.

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