Al Shabaab poses hard-line threat in Somalia:UN envoy

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Addis Ababa, July 24, 2013 (WIC) - Terror group Al Shabaab is 'becoming weaker' but more hard line, says the UN's top diplomat in Somalia.

According to the Africa Report, Nicholas Kay, who became special representative for Somalia last month, claims the organization has become far more fragmented over the past few years as a result of efforts by the UN, African Union and Somali forces to quell its deadly brand of Islamism.

But Kay, with experience in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, admits that this month's capture of long time target Hassan Dahir Aweys reveals little about Al Shabaab in general, and warns that the region must be alert to the kinds of concentrated attacks that have hit Mogadishu in recent months.

"One of their senior leaders has been taken into custody and is no longer active. It's an indication that Al Shabaab is dividing and becoming weaker. It's a sign of the pressure they're under," said Kay.

"But the recent attacks show that Al Shabaab is still active, and its current leadership is more hard-line. There's been an increase in Al Shabaab activity in the past month in central Somalila."