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'Boko Haram fighters trained in Somalia'

Somalia’s president made the revelation during a security conference in Germany on Sunday.

A Boko Haram flag flutters from an abandoned command post in Chad. Picture: AFP.

MUNICH - Fighters for the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram have been trained in Somalia on Africa's eastern coast before returning to West Africa, Somalia's president told a security conference in Germany on Sunday.

Somalia, plagued by political in-fighting, corruption and attacks by al-Shabaab insurgents, has recently made limited progress towards creating a functioning political system, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said.

"Without a stable Somalia, the whole region of the Horn of Africa will remain unstable and by and large, the African continent. There are proofs and evidence that (for) sometime Boko Haram has been trained in Somalia and they went back to Nigeria," he said.

"The terrorists are so linked together, they are associated and so organised, (that) we the world we need to be so organised," he said, speaking in English.

It was not clear from his comments whether he believed al Shabaab was still training Boko Haram fighters, who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Somalia's al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qaeda and wants to overthrow the Somali government and impose a harsh version of Islamic law, claimed responsibility for a blast this month that punched a hole in the fuselage of a plane.

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