PM holds welcome ceremony for visiting US congresswoman Ilhan Omar

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Somalia’s Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre on Monday held a welcoming ceremony for visiting US congresswoman Ilhan Omar, days after she had arrived in the capital Mogadishu.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ilhan said she had been warned of traveling to Somalia due to spiraling insecurity and attacks by insurgents, adding that she was informed that car bomb assaults and explosions taking place in the city have doubled recently.

“When I was planning to travel to Somalia, I was informed that the country was in the midst of worst insecurity with explosions and crisis reaching new heights. I was told it was not the right time to visit Somalia,” Ilhan Omar said.

The US congresswoman commended Somali authorities for taking crucial steps towards progress.

Her remarks have come amid ongoing fight between Somali troops bolstered by US and Turkish air forces and African Union peacekeepers, and the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab.

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