Somali officials say the United States has deported 84 Somalis, including four women, back to their home country.
Two planes carrying the Somalis arrived at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport on Friday.
A spokesman for Somalia’s Security Ministry, Abdulaziz Ali Ibrahim, said the deportees had “been taken to the headquarters of the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency for further questioning.”
He said the detainees would be released after the security agencies complete their questions and paperwork. It was not clear whether all the deportees would be freed.
Ibrahim said if the returnees wanted to stay in Mogadishu, they would be able to do so, and if they wanted to return to other parts of Somalia, the government would help them with their travels.
Ibrahim did not say why the Somalis were deported, but U.S. and Somali officials have previously said that Somalis returned from the United States either had their asylum applications rejected or committed crimes.
Around 275 Somalis were deported from the United States last year.
A Somali who was deported in May last year, Samir Abdirahman Arab, told VOA’s Somali service that he was deported because his asylum case failed after he entered the country through Mexico.
“The judge ordered our deportation and has issued the removal order,” he said.