African Union Mission in Somalia
Somali soldiers and peacekeepers from the 22,000-strong African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have made significant gains against al-Shabaab, recently pushing them out of several strongholds in the south-west of the countryReuters/Feisal Omar

British troops have arrived in Somalia in an effort to nullify the expanding al-Shabaab threat in the horn of Africa. Somalia has seen a rise an increase in terrorist attacks in the past few months with repeated strikes by the al-Qaeda linked jihadists.

It is hoped the deployment will help curb the extremists which have taken advantage of the weak government presence overseen by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). In February, at least 180 Kenyan AMISOM troops were slaughtered by al-Shabaab in el-Adde.

About 10 soldiers from Force Troop Command, 1 Div and Field Army training will support AMISOM peacekeeping efforts. They are the first of up to 70 set to be deployed there this year to help with medical, logistical and engineering duties.

Al-Shabaab have taken hold of large swathes of territory in the south and east of the country where they have coordinated numerous mass-killings and bomb attacks against government targets, beach resorts and even a passenger jet.

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In addition to these soldiers, around 300 British troops will also be sent to the conflict in South Sudan which is riven by ethnic and political violence.

UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told the Daily Mail: "This deployment is another demonstration of the flexibility and global reach of our Armed Forces. Alongside our efforts in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, it shows our determination to tackle terrorism wherever it rears its head."

Al-Shabaab, which means "The Youth", is an off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union, a rival administration to the Transitional Federal Government in Somalia. They aim to overthrow the Western-backed Somali government and impose its own version of Islam in the country.

They have fought a violent battle against the western-backed government but recently al-Shabaab has experienced in-fighting with some insurgents forming a new jihadi group called Jahba East Africa, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State (Isis) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Al-Shabaab is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters in the country with some British fighters amongst their ranks. This deployment comes as Foreign Minister Phillip Hammond considers sending troops to north Africa to fight Daesh (Isis) extremists.