Category: International news

Many feared dead in Mogadishu bomb blast

A massive bomb attack in a busy area of the Somali capital Mogadishu yesterday is now known to have killed at least 230 people. Police said hundreds more were wounded when a lorry packed with explosives detonated near the entrance of a hotel. It is the deadliest terror attack in Somalia since the Islamist al-Shabab group launched its insurgency in 2007. It is not clear who staged the bombing, but Mogadishu is a target for al-Shabab militants battling the government. President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed has declared three days of mourning for the victims of the blast. Local media...

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Ex-football star leads in Liberia polls

Partial results from Liberia’s presidential election show former football star George Weah has taken an early lead. Figures from the National Elections Commission put the 51 year old Mr Weah ahead in 11 out of 15 counties, although most votes have yet to be counted. The former footballer has chosen Taylor’s ex-wife Jewel Howard Taylor as his running mate. His main rival, incumbent vice-president Joseph Boakai, leads in one county and is second in most others. A candidate needs more than 50 percent of the votes for outright victory. If none of the candidates achieves that, a second round...

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Niger, US soldiers ‘killed in ambush’

Three US soldiers have been killed and two others wounded in an ambush in Niger near the border with Mali. Reports say several Nigerien soldiers are also said to have died in the attack. US Africa Command said the patrol had come under “hostile fire” and was working to confirm the details. The US army has been providing training to Niger’s army to help combat Islamist militants in the region including the North African branch of al-Qaeda. US President Donald Trump has been briefed by his chief-of-staff, John Kelly about the attack, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said. According...

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Iraqi forces recapture central Hawija

Iraqi forces say they have recaptured the centre of the town of Hawija, one of the last enclaves of so-called Islamic State (IS) in the country. Hawija, where tens of thousands of civilians live has been under the militant group’s control since 2014. Once the surrounding area falls, IS will be left controlling only a stretch of land along the border with Syria. Yesterday, the Iraqi army said it had killed 196 IS militants and recaptured 98 villages around Hawija. Troops, police and paramilitaries “liberated the whole of the centre of Hawija and are continuing their advance”, the operation’s...

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‘Hundreds hurt’ as Catalonia votes

Catalan emergency officials say 761 people have been injured as police used force to try to block voting in Catalonia’s independence referendum. The Spanish government has pledged to stop a poll that was declared illegal by the country’s constitutional court. Police officers prevented some people from voting, and seized ballot papers and boxes at polling stations. In the regional capital Barcelona, police used batons and fired rubber bullets during pro-referendum protests. The deadline for voting was 2000 hours (18:00 GMT), but a Catalan government spokesman said that anyone in the queue at that time would be allowed to vote....

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