Somalia

Militants attack presidential palace in Mogadishu

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Militants carried out a deadly attack on Somalia’s presidential palace Friday, officials and eyewitnesses said. An explosion at the gate was followed by an exchange of gunfire between the fighters and security guards, police officer Abdi Mohamed said.

A U.N. representative said in a post on Twitter that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told him by phone that he was unharmed.

Terror network Al-Shabaab, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Somalia, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Somalia’s national security minister, Adbikarin Hussein Guled, said at least 12 people, seven of them Al-Shabaab attackers, were killed in the attack Two government officials who died were named as the secretary to the Prime Minister and the former deputy national intelligence agency chief, Gen. Nur Shirbow.

Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, said the group had achieved its objectives in the attack.

The attack comes just over a week after a car bombing near the airport in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, killed two people and wounded four more, according to police, Al-Shabaab also claimed responsibility for that attack.

The group has been designated a terrorist organization by the United States. It hopes to turn Somalia into a fundamentalist Islamic state by force but has launched attacks in other countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, that have killed dozens.

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Somali African Union base striked by bomb

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The African Union base in the city of Beledweynbe, Somalia, was struck by a bomb attack.

Witnesses report a car rammed the front gates, blew up and then gunmen came in. The spokesman of the al-Shabab group, a group related to al-Qaeda, said the group was responsible for the attack.

The car was driven by a suicider bomber whose job was to open the gates and clear it from anyone near, then, gunmen came in and started shooting at people. Ten people are reported dead.

“…The situation is now under control”, said the senior police commander Col Abdulkadir Ali from the local police force.

The al-Shabab were also responsible for the attack of the Westgate shopping center las Septmber, which killed 67 people in a four day stage.

 

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Somali pirates given life sentence

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A US court has sentenced two Somali pirates to life in prison without parole for their role in the killing of four Americans aboard a yacht off the Horn of Africa in February 2011.

Abukar Osman Beyle and Shani Nurani Shiekh Abrar were convicted of murder, kidnapping, hostage-taking and piracy. Prosecutors say 19 Somalis, 14 of whom have now been sentenced, boarded the yacht to take the Americans for ransom. The hostages died after negotiations with the US Navy broke down.

The victims were the yacht’s owners, Jean Adam, 66, and her husband Scott Adam, 70 – a former producer who worked on classic TV show The Love Boat – and their two friends Phyllis Patricia Macay, 59, and Robert Riggle, 67. They had been sailing round the world distributing Bibles when their yacht was boarded by pirates off the Horn of Africa on 18 February, 2011.

Prosecutors said the pirates intended to take their hostages to Somalia, so that they could be ransomed for millions of dollars.

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Somalia, emergency number for the first time in 20 years

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Due to recent events in Somalia, amognst them the bombing in Mogadishu (http://wp.me/p43zri-2p), the Somali government released an emergency number, 888, so residents can call for police assistance any time of the day. It is the first time in 20 years that Somalia establishes an emergency number.

The government is currently fighting Islamist militants over the control of the country. The opening of the emergency line has the purpose of residents calling police officers to suppress the Islamist al-Shabab group that has been driven by an UN-mandated African Government force, but it still controls part of the counrty

 

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100 dead in Somali tropical cyclone

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Everyone’s worried about Haiyan, the super typhoon that’s currently devastating the south eastern part of Asia, but does anyone care about other storms? No, all the attention goes to one place and the rest are ignored. Here is the article:

A tropical cyclone that hit the north-eastern Somali region of Puntland over the weekend killed up to 100 people, the regional lead. Puntland’s President Abdirahman Farole said thousands of livestock had also died and hundreds of homes had been destroyed.

The semi-autonomous region was hit by strong winds, heavy rains and flash floods on Saturday and Sunday.

Some fishermen have also been reported missing.

The tropical cyclone, known as 03A, affected coastal areas and continued inland.

Mr Farole said the areas affected were now inaccessible by road.

The authorities were trying to organise to send in food – dates and biscuits – by air to those affected by the cyclone, he said.

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Kenya to repatriate Somali refugees

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More than 500,000 Somali refugees living in Kenya are to be returned to their home country after the UN refugee agency signed a tripartite agreement with the two governments. Under the agreement, the Somalis will be repatriated voluntarily over the next three years.

The Somalis have sought refuge in Kenya from war and poverty.

Two of the camps they live in, Dadaab and Kakuma, are now so large they are more like towns, correspondents say. There is also a suburb of Nairobi – Eastleigh – that is known as “mini Somalia” because so many Somalis live there.

The refugees fled Somalia after the collapse of the central government in 1991; many of them were born in camps and have never set foot inside their home country.

The two governments and the UN hope to introduce a reintegration programme to help the refugees start new lives in Somalia and take part in the reconstruction of the country.

Somalia’s Deputy Prime Minister Fowsia Yusuf Adam said her country was preparing for the safe return of its refugees.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) representative to Kenya, Raouf Mazou, said the agreement was a “call to the rest of the international community to commit more vigorously for viable and sustainable solutions for the victims of a conflict that has lasted for way too long”.

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Bombing kills four in Somalia

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At least four people have been killed after a suspected suicide attack at a hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and at least fifteen people are injured. The death toll is thought to be risen because of the seriousness of the injuries recieved.

Islamist militant group al-Shabab was driven out of Mogadishu two years ago but often stages attacks in the city.

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