Somalia’s govt says Al-Shabaab asks for peace talks, militants deny


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Defense Abdifatah Qasim said on Saturday the Al-Qaeda-linked insurgent group Al-Shabaab had asked for peace talks, but militants dismissed the remarks as baseless.

The comments have come a day after militants stormed a base in the Middle Shabelle region, claiming to have killed dozens of soldiers.

Qaasim did not give further explanation about the alleged request for peace talks by militants and whether the government of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud would be ready for overtures to end the group’s more than a decade-long insurgency.

An official with Al-Shabaab’s information department told group’s media outlets that the comments were groundless, adding that there were not talks between their leadership and the federal authorities.

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