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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House has granted the U.S. military broader authority to carry out strikes in Somalia against al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants, two U.S. defence officials said on Thursday.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said parts of Somalia had been declared an "area of active hostilities" for at least 180 days by the White House on Wednesday night. The capital of Mogadishu was not included.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; editing by Grant McCool)

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