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Somalia roadside bomb kills at least 20 in minibus

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A roadside bomb exploded and killed at least 20 people in a minibus in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region on Thursday evening, the region’s governor said, blaming the extremist group al-Shabaab.

Most of the victims were women, Ibrahim Aden Ali said. He called the blast a “national disaster.”

Six other people were injured, regional security official Nur Abdullahi said.

The massive bomb buried beside the road struck the vehicle near Golweyn village and largely destroyed it, Abdullahi said.

“It’s a horrible incident. Bodies are lying in a pool of blood, and some of them were burnt beyond recognition,” he said.

Isaq Haji, a nurse at a hospital in Marka town 90km south of the capital, Mogadishu, said they had received four victims with “horrific” wounds.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The Somalia-based al-Shabaab claims control over parts of the largely coastal Lower Shabelle region, which has been a focus of efforts to counter the group by a 22 000-strong multinational African Union force.

The area where the bomb exploded is a contested one. Roadside bombs are commonly used by the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab.

Civilians often have been casualties in this long-chaotic Horn of Africa country. Now hundreds of thousands of Somalis are on the move as a drought threatens roughly half of the country’s population of 12 million.

New Somali-American President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who was elected in February, has promised to make security a priority as the weak central government tries to assert itself beyond the capital and some other urban areas.

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Motherland News

Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral

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Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.

A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.

Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.

She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer. 

Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.

The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.

 

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Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US

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Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.

At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.

 

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