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Five killed, 16 injured as al-Shabaab militants attack Mogadishu Mayor’s office

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Five people have been killed with 16 injured, some critically, after fighters of the al-Shabaab militant group attacked the office of the Mayor of Mogadishu, the Somali capital on Sunday.

The attack on the Banadir Regional Administration headquarters in Mogadishu, according to a statement by a regional government official, was carried out by a blast and several rounds of gunfire which lasted for several hours.

Abdulkadir Adan, the founder of the Aamin Ambulance Service
which coordinated a rescue operation, told journalists that his team collected at least 16 wounded people from the scene of the attack.

“So far, we haven’t yet collected any dead people, although the gunshots are still ongoing,” Adan said.

“Terrorists blasted a vehicle loaded with explosives onto a perimeter wall of the Mogadishu mall which is next to the Banadir administration headquarters,” a senior police officer, Abdullahi Mohamed, also told journalists.

“Security forces immediately put the area under lockdown but an exchange of gunfire between the army and the assailants was ongoing,” he added.

Farah Abdullahi who works in the mayor’s office, said staff had already resumed work for the day when the attack occurred.

“We were in the office and we were deafened by a blast, we ran out, gunfire followed,” he said.

The al-Shabab extremist group has already claimed responsibility for the assault in a statement on its Telegram channel.

Metro

Islamist jihadists kill nine in attack on Niger refugee camp

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Nine people have been confirmed killed by Islamist jihadists who attacked a refugee camp in western Niger Republic on Saturday night, local officials said.

The camp, according to the officials, housed refugees from neighbouring Mali who were displaced by the turmoil in the country.

“The toll from the attack is nine dead, one wounded and six missing,” an elected county official said.

“The attack was carried out by heavily armed terrorists who arrived on motorcycles and opened fire on the refugees before fleeing back to Mali,” he said.

A security personnel who also confirmed the attack, said it happened in the Tahoua region which lies in a zone bordering Mali and Burkina Faso, two countries that have been heavily hit by jihadist insurgency and has come under repeated attack since 2017 by armed groups linked to Al-Qaeda and Islamic State.

Jihadists attacks in the region since 2021 have led to the killing of hundreds of civilians and soldiers alike.

According to the United Nations, there are over 61,000 Malian refugees sheltering in Tahoua and nearby Tillaberi.

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Metro

Three killed in attacks on ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Church

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An attack on an Ancient Ethiopian Orthodox Church on Saturday has claimed the lives of three people, while an unspecified number were reported injured, according to a a religious media outlet.

The violence which erupted in southern Ethiopia, came on the backdrop of tensions in the Orthodox Tewahedo Church after some rebel bishops broke away from the body of the church and created their own synod in Oromia, the country’s most populous region.

The breakaway bishops have accused the church of discrimination and linguistic and cultural hegemony, saying congregations in Oromia are not served in their native language, claims rejected by the patriarchate.

Church-affiliated Tewahedo Media Center (TMC), in a report on Sunday, said two Orthodox Christian youths were killed, and another four people injured, when Oromia special forces attacked the church in Shashamene, which lies about 250 kilometers (150 miles) south of Addis Ababa.

The outfit later said there had been sniper fire on the church from nearby high-rise buildings that had killed a woman and injured others.

A statement issued by the Archbishop of Addis Ababa Diocese of the church. Abune Henok, described the incidents in the Oromia city of Shashamene as “shameful and heart-wrenching,” and urged the clergy and the faithful to wear black in protest, while calling for peaceful demonstrations at churches at home and abroad on February 12.

The World Council of Churches also issued a statement on Friday voicing its “deep concern” about the developments in the Ethiopian institution.

“We call upon all political leaders in Ethiopia to support the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in its efforts to achieve unity and peace among its members,” WCC general secretary, Jerry Pillay said in the statement.

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