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Airstrikes target South Somalia grouping of al-Shabab militants

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Unidentified airstrike targeted suspected Al-Shabab militants in their hideouts in two locations of southern Somalia on Sunday, residents and security officials confirmed on Monday.

The security officials said the airstrikes bombarded the insurgents’ hideouts in El-Adde and Goof areas on Sunday, inflicting injuries on the militants.

"Unknown airstrikes hit El-Adde and Goof locations in southern Somalia.

The militants suffered heavy casualties during the strikes over El-Adde though exact battle damage assessments have been not established," said a security official who declined to be named said.

Local residents said they have not established whether Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers who are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) were behind the latest airstrikes in southern part of the Horn of Africa nation.

In January 15, 2016, al-Shabab fighters attacked a KDF camp in El-Adde in southern Somalia, killing some 100 soldiers in the worst attack since the troops crossed into the Horn of Africa nation in 2011.

Since the deadly attack, the Kenyan soldiers have been targeting the El-Adde area which lies near Garbaharey town in Gedo region to flush out the militants.

The United States military which last year carried out about 30 airstrikes against al-Shabab has also intensified assault against the al-Qaida allied terrorist group in the recent past.


Sub-Saharan Africa records sharp rise in Islamist militant attacks: report

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The number of Islamist militant attacks increased from 317 in 2013 to 1,549 in April in sub-Saharan Africa, an international risk and strategic consulting firm, Control Risks, said in a report released on Wednesday.

The risk consultancy firm said while some of the attacks are inspired by the Islamic State (IS) that loses its grip in its Middle Eastern heartland, the drivers behind this rise in sub-Saharan Africa are more complex.

"The many shades of political and ideological violence and militancy in play across the globe are part of a complex picture of risk and opportunity facing businesses and organizations," said the consultancy firm.

In the report, Changing Patterns in Terrorism and the Threat to Business, Control Risks says Somalia, which witnessed 879 incidents over the period, accounted for over half of the Islamist militant incidents recorded across sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the report, the only other East African country affected during the period was Kenya, with 79 incidents.

The Somalia-based extremist group, al-Shabab have carried out increased terrorist attacks targeting public places, government installations and military bases manned by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The Somali militants are fighting to overthrow the internationally-recognized government and impose sharia law in the country.

The firm says West Africa accounted for 36 percent of the incidents, Nigeria suffered most (220 incidents), followed by Mali (194) and Cameroon (96).

"Although the total number of Islamist militant attacks in Southern Africa was relatively low - 56 incidents in total; 43 in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 12 in Mozambique, 1 in South Africa - the rise in attacks particularly in Mozambique, where the first attack was recorded on October 5, 2017, is concerning," it said.

Somalia reclaims airspace after years of operations from Kenya

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (SCAMA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have jointly agreed to close the office in Kenya's Nairobi after nearly 30 years.

SCAMA, which regulates civil aviation activities in the Horn of Africa nation, said the airspace will now be controlled within Somalia as part of his government's commitment to restore important public service.

"We are pleased to announce that from today (Monday) onwards the office operating in Nairobi has been closed and work will resume from Somalia.

Somalia's airspace will be controlled within Somalia after nearly 30 years," the regulator tweeted the announcement seen on Wednesday.

The move comes after the Somalia government in December 2017 inaugurated the offices and also installed equipment at Mogadishu International Airport, saying the move represents a significant step towards the development of the country.

ICAO has been controlling Somalia's airspace from its regional office in Nairobi since the fall of the country's central government in 1991. The UN body has also been collecting revenue on behalf of Mogadishu.

The government has since relocated more than 30 air controllers who were working in Nairobi to operate in Mogadishu.



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