UN: Major offensives planned vs. Somali militants

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) - A United Nations official says plans are being made to restart major offensives in parts of Somalia held by the militant group al-Shabab.

Special Representative Nicholas Kay also told the Security Council by videoconference Tuesday that it's important that the long-chaotic East African country hold democratic elections in 2016 as part of building strong state institutions.

Somalia is shakily emerging from more than two decades of conflict, and parts of the country are still in the hands of the al-Shabab.

Kay reminded the Security Council that he had warned the council in September that if Somalia remained a home to terrorists, the effects would be felt "from Bamako to Bangui."

Later that month, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on an upscale Kenyan mall.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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