Somalia

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Kilns Recall 'Almost Criminal' US History

Utah's old charcoal kilns led to wide deforestation

(Newser) - In Utah's backcountry, you're liable to see wide stretches of open space populated by little more than old brick huts. Their purpose, once essential to the state's economic life, came to be considered "almost like a criminal activity," an expert tells the Deseret News . In... More »

Pirates Free American Held for 2 Years

Journalist Michael Scott Moore was kidnapped while researching piracy

(Newser) - A 45-year-old journalist who was kidnapped by Somali pirates more than two years ago has been freed, according to his family and a Somali official cited by CNN . Michael Scott Moore, who holds both US and German citizenship and was in Somalia researching a book on piracy, is said by... More »

Al-Shabab Militants Have New Leader After US Airstrike

Attack killed former spiritual leader Ahmed Abdi Godane

(Newser) - Somalian Islamic extremist rebels al-Shabab named Abu Ubeid Ahmed Omar to be their new leader following the killing of the previous leader by a US airstrike , said a commander of the group. The Somali militants unanimously selected Omar today at a meeting in an undisclosed location in Somalia, said rebel... More »

US Unleashed 'Earthquake' Strike on al-Shabab

Target may have been Somali militants' 'spiritual leader'

(Newser) - The US says it carried out an operation against Islamic extremists in Somalia yesterday, but the military hasn't released other details of the strike on the al-Shabab network. "We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," a Pentagon... More »

Militants Storm Presidential Palace in Somalia

al-Shabab has vowed to step up attacks in Mogadishu

(Newser) - Militants have stormed the presidential palace in Mogadishu, though the BBC reports that Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is not there today. A police official said the attack started when a car bomb exploded outside the presidential complex. Gunmen then entered the palace, their entry apparently made easier because many... More »

US Has Secretly Had Troops in Somalia Since 2007

Deployment was hushed up for security reasons

(Newser) - The trainers the US sent to Somalia last fall weren't really the first American troops in the country since the 1993 Black Hawk Down debacle, officials have revealed. A deployment of around 120 troops on the ground has been in place in the country since 2007 to help fight... More »

Militants Kill Kenyan Men, Order Women to Watch

Somali group blamed for rampage in coastal town

(Newser) - Dozens of extremists wielding automatic weapons attacked a small Kenyan coastal town for hours, assaulting the police station, setting two hotels on fire, and spraying bullets into the street. At least 48 people were killed, officials said. The assault in Mpeketoni began around 8pm local time last night, as residents... More »

Teen Stowaway's Mom: His Dad Told Him I Was Dead

She says Yahya Abdi only recently learned she was alive

(Newser) - The teen stowaway who survived a five-hour flight in the wheel well of a Boeing 767 was trying to get to Somalia to see his family —including his mother, who tells Voice of America and the Daily Mail that the boy, Yahya Abdi, had only recently learned she was... More »

Teen Stowaway's Intended Destination: Somalia

Dad says he missed relatives, struggled in school

(Newser) - The teenage stowaway who miraculously survived a five-hour flight in the wheel well of a Boeing 767 was trying to get to his native Somalia, not Hawaii, his father says. The 15-year-old, who moved to the US as a refugee with his father and stepmother four years ago, was struggling... More »

Suicide Bomber Misfires While Parking, Kills Only Himself

No one else injured in Mogadishu

(Newser) - A suicide car bomber accidentally detonated his explosives near a popular hotel in the Somali capital and managed to kill only himself, say police. The bomber appeared to have prematurely detonated his explosives-laden car today as he tried to park near the Mogadishu hotel. No others were hurt or killed... More »

US Drone Strike Takes Out Somali Militant Commander

'Dangerous' al-Shabab leader killed by missile

(Newser) - A missile fired from an American drone killed a militant commander in Somalia, a military official tells Reuters . Another militant commander confirmed to the AP that the strike in a southern village had killed Sahal Iskudhuq—who is believed to be close to al-Shabab's top leader—as well as... More »

US Military in Somalia for First Time Since 'Black Hawk Down'

About 2 dozen trainers, advisers in Mogadishu: Washington Post

(Newser) - It may not qualify as "boots on the ground," but the Washington Post sees it as a milestone nonetheless. It reports that the US military has sent about two dozen "trainers and advisers" to Somalia to help the fight against the al-Shabab militia , marking the first return... More »

Car Bomb Near Somalia Hotel Leaves 4 Dead

Diplomat killed; at least 15 reported injured

(Newser) - A car bombing near a pricey hotel in the Somali capital has killed at least four people and wounded 15, says a government spokesman; a hospital official put the number admitted at 22. One of those killed was top diplomat Abdulkadir Ali Dhuub, formerly acting ambassador to the UK, AFP... More »

Court's Question: Is a Negotiator a Pirate?

Judge says US prosecutors 'overreaching' in seeking life sentence

(Newser) - Ali Mohamed Ali wasn't involved in the hijacking of a Danish ship, but the pirates in question called on him to help negotiate a $1.7 million ransom; they asked because he speaks English, his lawyers say. Now, he's facing a mandatory life sentence after US prosecutors charged... More »

Drone Reportedly Kills Al-Shabab Bomb Expert

Attack shows US increasingly worried about Somali militants

(Newser) - A United States military strike hit a vehicle carrying senior members of an al-Qaida-linked militant group in Somalia today, killing at least two people. An al-Shabab member who gave his name as Abu Mohamed said one of those killed was al-Shabab's top explosives expert, known as Anta. He said... More »

'Ikrima,' Target of Failed US Raid, Plotted UN Attack

Al-Shabab leader tied to 1998 US embassy attack: White House source

(Newser) - In this weekend's raid in Somalia , Navy SEALs were after an al-Shabab leader named Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, who had plotted foiled attacks targeting Kenya's parliament and the UN office in Nairobi, according to a Kenyan intelligence document obtained by the AP . Abdulkadir, who is also known as Ikrima,... More »

US Responds to Kenya Mall Attack, Raids Leader's House

Navy SEALs raid stronghold of al-Shabab leader in Somalia

(Newser) - A team of Navy SEALs raided the house of a senior al-Shabab leader in Somalia today—a response to the group's deadly attack on a Nairobi shopping mall last month , according to US officials. Initial reports claimed the leader had been captured, but an official now says that he... More »

Al-Shabab: We Killed 'Rapping Jihadist' From Alabama

Omar Hammami has been reported dead before, however

(Newser) - Al-Shabab militants ambushed and killed Omar Hammami, the so-called " rapping Jihadist " from Daphne, Alabama, members of the militant group tell the AP . Hammami, who goes by the nom de guerre "Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki," or "the American," has been on the run from his former... More »

Somalia Polio Outbreak Is World's Worst

Thousands could have virus

(Newser) - A polio outbreak in Somalia is spreading, with 105 confirmed cases and another 10 confirmed in neighboring Kenya, the UN's humanitarian affairs office says. Health officials are responding with vaccination campaigns that have reached 4 million people since the outbreak began in May, but those health officials cannot access... More »

Doctors Without Borders Exits Somalia, Slams Leaders

Group leaving after 22 years after repeated attacks on aid workers

(Newser) - The aid group Doctors Without Borders said today it is pulling out of Somalia after 22 years there because of attacks on its staff. In a scathing indictment of Somalia's leaders, the group, also known by its French initials as MSF, said the decision is the result of "... More »

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