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Somalia faults Kenya for re-introducing flight stopovers in Wajir

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The Somali government on Saturday faulted Kenya for its decision to reintroduce flight stopovers in Wajir, northeast Kenya, for all flights from Mogadishu, saying the move restricts movements of Somali citizens.

Somalia’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said in a statement on Saturday that the decision by Nairobi is politicized and not good for neighborly relations.

The ministry said the matter will be referred to the relevant authorities to assess an "appropriate" response, saying Kenya has not fully explained why it has taken the unilateral decision to see Mogadishu flights bound for Nairobi to pass through Wajir airport for security checks.

The ministry also urged Kenya to "reconsider" the decision which it said is going to restrict trade and travels between the two countries.

A notice from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) issued early this week ordered all flights from Mogadishu to stop in Wajir airport for security checks before proceeding to Nairobi.

The two neighboring countries agreed on March 2017 to resume the direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi and ended the 10 years of Wajir short stopovers.

The Wajir security stopover, which was introduced by Kenya in 2006, is conducted by security agencies and involves passengers disembarking from the plane and going through immigration and customs while all luggage are removed and scanned.


United States airstrike kills four ISIS fighters in northern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The United States military said on Friday afternoon that it killed four Islamic State (ISIS) fighters in an air attack in Somalia’s northern region of Puntland State on Thursday, a day after another strike killed 13 others.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement that the latest strike was conducted in cooperation with Somali government targeting the ISIS encampment in the Golis Mountains.

"This deliberate campaign is building on increased intelligence and understanding of ISIS training and recruitment activities in Puntland, and is the fourth precision airstrike against ISIS-Somalia since April 14," said the statement.

The U.S. military said no civilians were injured or killed in the latest airstrike, adding that a detailed post-strike analysis continues and more details may be released as appropriate.

Pro-IS militants split from al-Shabab in October 2015 and later occupied Qandala, a key location in Bari Region under Puntland State Administration in northern Somalia since 2016.

United States military kills 13 ISIS fighters in northern Somalia

MOGADISHUSomalia (Xinhua) -- The United States military said on Thursday that it conducted an airstrike against ISIS extremists in northern Somalia, killing 13 militants.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) which oversees American troops on the African continent said in a statement the latest strike was conducted on Wednesday in cooperation with Somali government targeting an ISIS encampment in the Golis Mountains.

The statement said no civilians were injured or killed in the airstrike, adding that a detailed post-strike analysis continues and more details may be released.

Wednesday’s strike was the third one the U.S. army has executed against ISIS in Somalia since April.

Pro-IS militants split from al-Shabab in October 2015 and later occupied Qandala, a key location in Bari Region under Puntland State Administration in northern Somalia since 2016.

Somali security forces kill 18 al-Shabab militants

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali forces on Wednesday night killed 18 al-Shabab extremists in Jilib town in the southern Middle Juba Region, officials said on Thursday.

Mural Ahmed Farah, commander of Jubaland forces in Jamame in Lower Juba told journalists that Somali special forces, known as the Danab, and Jubaland forces backed by international partners killed the militants after being tipped off by residents.

"The militants were meeting in the town and we got a tip-off from the residents.

"We killed 18 al-Shabab fighters in the operation," the official said.

He added that six of those killed in the operation were bomb experts.

Residents said they were shocked by the sound of the mortars during the assault at night.

"We heard the sound of mortars at night and in the morning the militants were preventing the residents to approach the area of the airstrikes," a local resident told Xinhua by phone.

The move comes barely two days after Somali forces killed 11 al-Shabab militants in clashes in Middle Shabelle Region in southern Somalia.

Meanwhile, Somali security forces have arrested four al-Shabab militants during a sting operation carried out around Weydow in the outskirts of Mogadishu on Thursday.

The police said the suspects who are in the custody will be investigated for their involvement in the terror attacks on government soldiers and officials along Mogadishu-Afgoye road.

There was no immediate comment from al-Qaida allied group al-Shabab on the latest incident.

Almost one dozen al-Shabab militants killed in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The Somali National Army (SNA) killed 11 al-Shabab fighters in clashes between government soldiers and the militants on Monday evening in the country’s southern region of Middle Shabelle, officials said Tuesday.

Mohamed Kulmiye, general manager of information for Hir-Shabelle State, said the Somali forces launched an attack on al-Shabab extremists in Yaqle village, a location between Jowhar and Bal’ad in the Middle Shabelle region.

"Our forces inflicted heavy casualties on the militants in the fierce battle.

"I can confirm that we killed 11 militants," said Kulmiye, adding that the SNA’s unit 27 commander sustained injuries during the battle.

Abdulkadir Aden Jelle, minister of internal security and rehabilitation for Hir-Shabelle State, also confirmed the battle, saying there were casualties on the government side.

"We lost one soldier in the offensive and four others got injured," said Jelle.

Residents said a fierce battle erupted between government forces and al-Shabab militants in Yaqle on Monday evening.

"Government forces attacked al-Shabab militants in the village, the two forces engaged a fierce fight that lasted for several hours," Hassan Mo’alim, a resident told Xinhua via phone.

The extremist group claimed through their affiliated media channels that they ambushed the government forces, killing 12 soldiers including a brigade commander.

It added that they wounded the brigade commander’s deputy and destroyed three vehicles.

The latest clash came amid sustained security operations by Somali forces against al-Shabab militants in central and southern Somalia.

United States military airstrike kills three al-Shabab terrorists in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The U.S. army said on Monday evening that it had killed three al-Shabab militants in a precision airstrike in southern Somalia on Sunday.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement that Sunday’s airstrike was in self-defense after al-Shabab fighters attacked Somali forces near Tortoroow.

AFRICOM said the Somali forces were conducting an operation to disrupt the terrorist network in the area and to bolster local support for the government when they came under al-Shabab attack, adding that no civilians were injured or killed.

Sunday’s airstrike is the latest in a series of similar missions by the U.S. forces in Somalia in collaboration with Somali and African Union forces in the Horn of Africa country.

The strikes have largely targeted al-Shabab figureheads based in southern Somalia where the group still maintains a strong grip in some regions.

AMISOM troops offer medical care to Somali residents

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Kenyan troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Thursday carried out medical checks for residents of Dhobley in southern Somalia as part of efforts to improve relations with the locals.

John Mnjalla, commandant of AMISOM Level II Hospital in Dhobley who led the team of military medics providing free health services to the community, said AMISOM "will do its best to bring relief to communities.

"We had a high turn up, and we recorded over 200 patients."

The contingent also handed over a consignment of drugs and medical consumables to the management of the Dhobley General Hospital, according to a statement from the AU mission issued on Friday.

Siyad Mohamed Hassan, Dhobley’s administrator, requested AMISOM to extend health services to the people amid high disease burden and unfilled need for public health services.

Hassan cited the need to provide specialized inpatient services such as surgery, treatment of diseases like cancer, bone ailments and maternal health services.

"The community needs every form of health assistance.

The need remains, and we request AMISOM to assist in whatever way," he added.


Suspect Al-Shabaab gangsters steal gun and food in Mandera



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