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Kenya delays closure of Dadaab refugee camp

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The Kenyan government has agreed to international calls to delay closure of a camp that houses Somali refugees northeast of the country.

"The government has accepted the request to extend the deadline for the completion of repatriation of Somali refugees, and this is essential to the closure of the Dadaab refugee complex, by six months," Interior Minister Joseph Ole Nkaissery said on Wednesday.

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The government had earlier set November as the deadline for shutting down the camp, a sprawling facility north of the capital Nairobi, which the government says is being increasingly used by militants from neighboring Somalia to launch attacks on Kenyan civilians and security forces.

Officials have yet to determine a new timetable for the closure of the camp, but Nkaissery said the ongoing voluntary repatriation would continue uninterrupted.