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AP EXPLAINS: Islamic extremists step up attacks in Africa

The number of deadly attacks by Islamic extremists is mounting across Africa, raising questions about the resurgence of armed groups once seen to be in decline. Here is a brief description of the attacks and an explanation of who was behind them and what is driving the surge.


— On Jan. 21, al-Shabab fighters stormed and took over a beachfront restaurant in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. When the siege was over, more than 20 people had been killed in the attack.

— On Jan. 15, gunmen stormed a cafe popular with foreigners in Burkina Faso's capital, firing at people, setting the cafe ablaze and then attacking a nearby hotel. At least 30 people...