BARAWE, Somalia, Oct 5 (Reuters) – About 1,000 African Union
and Somali troops launched an assault on Sunday to retake the
al-Shabaab militant stronghold of Barawe on the southern Somali
coast and has so far met no resistance, a Somali military
The African Union and the Somali military launched a joint
offensive in March to drive the al Qaeda-linked Islamists out of
towns and areas they control, and stepped up their campaign in
August after a surge in gun and bomb attacks in Mogadishu.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somali al Shabaab militants stoned a woman to death in the southern town of Barawe on Friday after a court they had set up declared her guilty of adultery, the militants and witnesses said.
The group, which pledges loyalty to al Qaeda, has waged an armed campaign to impose its strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law. Forced out of many areas of the east African country by African Union forces and the Somali army, al Shabaab is keen to show it has authority over areas it still controls.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Six people were killed in central Somalia in a gunfight over a supposed ransom payment tied to the release this week of a German-U.S. journalist held hostage in Somalia for more than two years, police said on Thursday.
The journalist, Michael Scott Moore, 45, was kidnapped by armed militia in the city of Galkayo in January 2012 while researching a book on piracy. After his release this week, local Somali officials said they were not unaware of any ransom paid.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A senior Somali national security officer was gunned down while riding in his car in Mogadishu on Saturday, in the latest eruption of violence since the al Shabaab Islamic militants named a new leader a week ago.
The man, Mohamed Qanuuni, had only recently assumed the post of deputy commander in charge of anti-terrorism activities, according to an intelligence officer who asked not to be named. He took the job after his predecessor who was killed in a similar manner two months ago, police said.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somalia’s Islamist rebel group bombed African peacekeepers and government vehicles on Monday in twin attacks that left at least 12 civilians dead, marking al Shabaab’s first major attack since promising revenge for the killing of its leader last week.
The blasts within an hour of each other on the same road southwest of Mogadishu targeted a convoy of African Union (AU) troops and a Somali government convoy of police and national security forces. Civilian buses near the first blast were hit.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – The Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab confirmed on Saturday that its leader Ahmed Godane had been killed in a U.S. air strike this week and named a new leader, promising “great distress” to its enemies.
U.S. forces struck Godane’s encampment in south-central Somalia with Hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions on Monday, but the Pentagon did not confirm his death until Friday.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – A veteran Somali protest singer who had become a member of parliament was shot dead in central Mogadishu on Wednesday by Islamist gunmen who blocked her car and sprayed it with bullets.
Saado Ali Warsame was one of fewer than 30 women lawmakers in the 275-seat parliament, MPs said.
MOGADISHU/MOMBASA (Reuters) – Somalia’s al Shabaab insurgents claimed responsibility on Saturday for an attack on a bus on Kenya’s northern coast that killed seven.
Gunmen blocked the bus with their car late on Friday and sprayed it with bullets. They also attacked two trucks carrying mangos near Witu, a town in Lamu County which borders Somalia.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Islamist militants attacked Somalia’s presidential compound on Tuesday with a car bomb and gunmen broke through a perimeter wall but were repulsed by security forces, and the president was not there at the time, the interior ministry said.
Up to five members of the al Shabaab Islamist group, which claimed responsibility, were killed, Interior Minister Abdullahi Godah Barre told Reuters. Three militants were confirmed dead, and one or two more were believed to have died in the car blast.
MOGADISHU (Reuters) – An official with the Somali transport ministry was killed by a bomb blast in the capital of Mogadishu on Monday, hours after at least two people were killed and seven wounded when another bomb blast ripped through a busy market, officials said.
Al Shabaab militants, who have vowed to mount a series of attacks during Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month which began on Sunday, claimed responsibility for both attacks. The militant Islamist group also claimed its gunmen shot dead three people on Sunday and said the killings were just the start of its group’s Ramadan campaign.