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Thousands protest against al-Shabaab in Somali capital, Mogadishu

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Thousands of Somalians on Friday, took to the streets of Mogadishu, the country’s capital, in solidarity with the the government to protest against the al-Shabaab militant group.

The rally organised by the government against the al-Qaeda-backed group, is one of the measures put in place by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was part of the rally at a stadium under tight security, and used the event to call on Somalis to help flush out members of the al-Shabab group he described as “bedbugs”.

“I’m calling to you, the people of Mogadishu, the Kharijites (renegades) are amongst you … so flush them out. They are in your houses, they are your neighbours, in cars that pass you by,” Mohamud said while addressing the large crowd which was one of the largest public gatherings in recent years.

“I want us to commit today to flushing them out. They are like bedbugs under our clothes.

“We will never accept extremist killing or robbing our people and we will also never accept the killing of our innocent people. We will protect them from al-Shabaab. Anyone who does kills innocent people will face trial or justice.

““The people are tired of massacres, killings, and all kinds of misdeeds and they are now saying to al-Shabab: ‘Enough is enough’,” Mohamud said, as demonstrators waved flags and placards with anti-al-Shabaab messages.

For over a decade now, the al-Shabaab terrorists have been waging a bloody uprising against the central government, carrying out attacks in the country, especially in the capital with the aim of overthrowing the government and implementing a strict Sharia regime.

When Mohamud came into office in May last year, he had declared an all-out war against the group and urged locals to set up militia groups to chase them out of the communities.

The alliance between the government and the local militias have largely succeeded as lots of the terrorists have been pushed out of several territories they had hitherto held since the offensives were launched last August.

Metro

Somali military tribunal jails wife of Islamic State leader eight years

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A Somali military tribunal has sentenced the wife of a leader of the Islamic State terrorist group to eight years in prison for “passing on information and organizing financial transactions for the group.”

According to a top Somali military official, the convict, Fartun Abdirashid, the wife of the head of the Daesh (IS) group in the country, Abdiqadir Mumin, was sentenced on Monday after she was found guilty by a military court in Mogadishu.

“Fartun Abdirashid has been under the custody since her arrest in March last year in Mogadishu. Her husband is Abdiqadir Mumin, who is the head of the Daesh group, a terrorist organization linked to the Islamic State,” the military official said.

The Somali public prosecutor’s office, said the suspect was accused of frequently transferring $100 to $200 to the group’s members, and also had a working relationship with Bilal Al-Sudaani, a senior Islamic State group official who was killed last Wednesday in a U.S. raid in the northern Bari region.

Mumin, who was a former al-Shabab cleric, had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2015, and has led his group to hold a smaller but significant footprint in Somalia compared to the al-Shabab terrorist group that has carried out numerous attacks in the country.

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30 killed, 20 missing as tropical storm, Cheneso, sweep across Madagascar

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At least 30 people have been confirmed killed while 20 are missing following flooding and landslides caused by a tropical storm, Cheneso, which swept across Madagascar over the weekend.

The Madagascar National Office for Risk and Disaster Management, in a provisional assessment on Monday, said, the storm which made its first landfall in the northeast of the Indian Ocean island nation last Thursday, has so far impacted close to 89,000 people.

The Madagascan Meteorological Agency in a statement, said the storm, which has now passed across the country into the Mozambique Channel, saw winds gusting up to 170 kilometres per hour (105.63 miles per hour) and unleashed torrential rains.

The director of the Risk and Disaster office, Colonel Faly Aritiana, also said there had been house collapses and landslides in which people were trapped.

“People have been reacting generally in the right way, but some people have not been taking enough note of our warnings not to cross rivers in flood because the flow is much stronger than usual,” Aritiana said.

“The storm has damaged infrastructure, with many roads cut by rising waters, landslides and collapsed bridges,” he added.

Local media say nearly 33,000 people have had to leave their homes in the Boeny region, in the northwest of the island, while the prices of basic foodstuffs have skyrocketed.

“Prices of vegetables and rice increased a lot after the storm with the cost of tomatoes quadrupling. The merchants say it’s because the national road is cut,” it added.

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