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Somalia's defense minister, army chief resign: Official

Thursday October 12, 2017

The president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo (center), the Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Kheyre (right) and Minister of Defence, Abdirashid Abdullahi (left)) receive a guard of honour during a ceremony to mark the 57th Anniversary of the Somali National Army held at the Ministry of Defence in Mogadishu on April 12, 2017. AMISOM PHOTO/ Ilyas Ahmed

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somali officials say the country's defense minister and army chief have resigned as the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab group steps up attacks on army bases across south and central Somalia.

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An official in the prime minister's office says Defense Minister Abdirashid Abdullahi Mohamed has resigned, citing lack of consultations on issues related to his ministry. The official says army chief Gen. Mohamed Ahmed Jimale has also submitted his resignation to the president.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

There have been reports of a rivalry between the two outgoing military leaders.

Somalia in recent weeks has seen an increase in attacks by al-Shabab extremists

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