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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

United States airstrike helps kill 52 al-Shabaab
militants gathering in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United States army said it conducted an airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists in southern Somalia on Saturday, killing 52 militants.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement on Saturday that no civilians were killed or injured in the latest strike which was carried out near Jilib, Middle Juba Region.

"U.S. Africa Command conducted the airstrike in response to an attack by a large group of al-Shabaab militants against Somali National Army," according to the statement.

AFRICOM said it is committed to preventing al-Shabaab from taking advantage of safe havens from which they can build capacity and attack Somali people.

The strike came after media reports that Somali National Army backed by the U.S. army on Saturday killed 73 al-Shabaab militants in Bar-Sanguni neighborhood near Kismayo town in Jubbland, following an attack from al-Shabaab at a military base on Saturday morning.

The al-Qaida allied terrorist group continues to hold parts of the country’s south and central regions after being chased out of Mogadishu years ago.

Somali and African Union peacekeeping forces have intensified military operations against the insurgents, flushing them in their Lower Shabelle and Middle Shabelle region bases as part of efforts to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.
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UPDATES:

Seventy three al-Shabab militants killed in operation in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali National Army (SNA) backed by the international partners on Saturday killed 73 al-Shabab militants and destroyed armored vehicles in southern Somalia, according to state news agency on Saturday.

The Somali National News Agency (SONNA) said the joint forces foiled an attack from al-Shabab at a military base at Bar-Sanguni neighborhood near Kismayo town in Jubbland.

The news agency said international partners conducted airstrikes in the area that targeted al-Shabab militants.

Independent sources said that there were heavy casualties on both the army and the militants.

Residents reported hearing airstrikes targeting the militant group early Saturday.

They said several strikes hit the militants and their battlewagons in an area between Araare and Muse Haji.

The attack came hours after the group said on Friday that their fighters killed 57 Ethiopian troops under the framework of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in an ambush near Burhakaba town in southern Somalia.

The al-Qaida allied terrorist group continues to hold parts of the country’s south and central regions after being chased out of Mogadishu several years ago.

Somali and African Union peacekeeping forces have also intensified military operations against the insurgents, flushing them in their Lower and Middle Shabelle region bases as part of efforts to stabilize the Horn of Africa nation.
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Ethiopia will launch major counterattack against al-Shabab: statement

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian forces are preparing to launch a major counterattack against Somali terrorist group al-Shabab, according to a statement released on Saturday.

In a press statement, the Ethiopia Defense Forces (EDF) said the counterattack will be in retaliation for an attack Friday on an Ethiopian military convoy near Burhakaba town of Somalia.

The EDF statement said Ethiopian soldiers were able to withstand the al-Shabab attack and return to their nearby bases.

Al-Shabab claimed the Friday attack killed more than 50 Ethiopian soldiers.

The statement from EDF didn’t mention any possible Ethiopian casualties from the attack.

Ethiopia has several thousand troops in Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping forces, tasked with countering the al-Shabab threat.

The AMISOM forces are also tasked with restoring peace to violence wracked parts of Somalia.
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Senior al-Shabab fighter arrested after attack on Ethiopian troops in Somalia

MOGADISHU (Xinhua) -- A senior al-Shabab fighter was arrested during a security operation conducted in Somali capital Mogadishu on Friday evening, the authorities said Saturday.

Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency said the militant, who is a member of al-Shabab’s intelligence branch Amniyat, was arrested by security forces in a major operation in Mogadishu on Friday night.

The arrest came hours after the militants reportedly attacked the Ethiopian forces under the framework of African Union Mission in Somalia in southern Somalia.

The Ethiopian Defense Force confirmed that the attack on the Ethiopian forces happened on Friday near Burhakaba town in Bay region, without indicating the extent of the damage and the number of casualties.
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News highlights in Kenya’s major media outlets

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The following are news highlights in Kenya’s major media outlets on Sunday.

With every new piece of information that has come to light about the perpetrators of the 14 Riverside Drive attacks, it has become clearer that the authorities knew about Mahir Khalid Riziki, the suicide bomber.

They had his photos, names and contacts of his relatives and friends, yet it is not clear why they failed to stop him from blowing himself up.

In a widely-shared CCTV footage, the suicide bomber is captured outside the Secret Garden Restaurant in the Dusit Complex moments before he blows himself up, killing an unknown number of people with him. (Sunday Nation)

The widow of one of the 14 Riverside attackers was on Friday night arrested by police in her house in Bakarani, Mombasa.

Suhaila Mwalim Bakari was taken into police custody following the identification of her husband, Mahir Khalid Riziki, as the suicide bomber in the Tuesday attack.

It is not clear whether Suhalia became radicalized, but investigators say she was a confidant of her husband, lending her ears to his trials and tribulations while in Somalia every time he called her, demanding details about her current life while he remained in hiding. (Sunday Standard)

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sends condolences
to Kenyan counterpart over deadly terrorist attack in Kenya

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has sent condolences to his Kenyan counterpart Monica Juma over the deadly terrorist attack at an upscale hotel and business complex in Nairobi on Tuesday.

In a condolence message sent to Juma on Friday, Wang said he was shocked to learn that a terrorist attack took place in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, which has caused heavy casualties.

He expressed deep sorrow for the innocent victims and sincere sympathy for the injured and bereaved families.

Wang said that China condemns terrorism and violence in any form and will continue to firmly support Kenya’s efforts to crack down on terrorism and maintain its national security and stability.
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FURTHER READING:

Massive military base buildup suggests that the United States shadow war in Somalia is only getting bigger

Baledogle Airfield Military Airbase located in the district of Wanlaweyn in Lower Shabelle region of Somalia

             

 

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