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Somalia's Islamist militants spill into neighboring countries

Somalia's Islamist militant group Al Shabab now controls much of the country, and it has made viable threats against neighbors Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

A Ugandan soldier with the African Union Mission in Somalia patrolled Mogadishu in May after two weeks of heavy fighting left hundreds dead and wounded.

AFP/Getty/Newscom

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When he fled his native Somalia for Uganda 18 months ago, Ali Yasin thought he had escaped the death threats for good.

The aspiring TV journalist had seen members of the militant Islamist group Al Shabab kill some of his closest colleagues.

Now, though two countries away, Al Shabab has pledged to turn even Mr. Yasin's adopted home into a new front line in its battle for Somalia.

Late last month, the militants threatened to attack Uganda's capital, Kampala – along with Burundi's capital city, Bujumbura – after African Union peacekeepers from those two countries allegedly killed dozens of civilians during fighting in Somalia's war-torn capital, Mogadishu.

"I am scared," Yasin says. "I fear that even here in Uganda Al Shabab can attack." Of late, he says he has started receiving anonymous death threats via e-mail.

Threats already against Ethiopia, Kenya

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