U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, briefing members of the U.N. Security Council following his tour of Somalia, said al-Shabaab, a terrorist group with ties to al-Qaida, is responsible for a surge in regional deadly attacks.
"Although weakened, the insurgency is still able to conduct terror operations -- not only in its areas of control, but in Mogadishu [Somalia's capital] and Kismayo [a coastal city], and elsewhere -- as we saw in last month's horrific attack on the Westgate [shopping center] in Nairobi," he said in a statement Wednesday.
More than 60 people were killed in the September attack in Nairobi.
Eliasson called on parties to the African Union Mission in Somalia, created in 2007, to boost their troop commitments temporarily in an effort to contain al-Shabaab.
"The recommended enhancements for AMISOM, including helicopters and other enablers, will allow the force to regain the initiative against the insurgency and to recover strategic locations that are exploited by al-Shabaab to generate revenue, and to recruit and train combatants," he said.
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