Suicide bomber kills six at Somalia restaurant

Somali government soldiers stand at the scene of an explosion in Maka al-Mukara streets in Mogadishu, Somalia, August 27, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 10 September 2017
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Suicide bomber kills six at Somalia restaurant

MOGADISHU: At least six people died on Sunday after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a restaurant just outside a senior official’s office in the central Somali city of Beledweyne, police and residents said.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab group said it was behind the attack.
“At least six people died and several others were wounded. A suicide bomber blew up himself in a restaurant,” major Hussein Osman, a police officer told Reuters from Beledweyne.
The Sunday afternoon blast took place outside the office of the governor of the Hiran region, where he was holding a meeting, police and residents said.
“We are behind the attack at the Hiran governor’s headquarters. There are casualties. We targeted the workers of the Hiran administration,” said Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al-Shabab’s military operation spokesman.
Beledweyne is about 340 km north of Mogadishu.
Residents said clan elders were among the dead.
“The suicide bomber who had an explosive jacket stood inside the restaurant and blew up himself. We were heading to a meeting in the governor’s office when it happened,” said Farah Ali, a local elder.
Somalia has been at war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
Al Shabab has in the past carried out frequent attacks in Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia in a bid to topple the country’s Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.


Malaysia detains Najib ex-aide in first arrest over 1MDB scandal

Updated 43 min 57 sec ago
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Malaysia detains Najib ex-aide in first arrest over 1MDB scandal

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian authorities have made the first arrest in a renewed probe into the multibillion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, remanding a former aide of ousted prime minister Najib Razak to assist in investigations, Bernama news reported on Monday.
Malaysia’s new government led by the 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad reopened investigations into billions of dollars allegedly siphoned out of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) after Najib’s administration lost a general election in May, fueled by anger over the scandal and rising living costs.
On Monday, a magistrate’s court granted an application by anti-graft officials to remand Najib’s former aide for a week to assist in their investigations into 1MDB, according to a report by national newswire Bernama.
The 42-year-old aide, described in the report as having worked for Najib since 2009, was arrested on Sunday night after giving a statement at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) headquarters in the administrative capital of Putrajaya.
Earlier this month, Malaysia’s new attorney general said his office was studying possible criminal and civil action in the 1MDB case, after receiving investigation papers on the state fund from the anti-graft agency.
Former prime minister Najib, who founded 1MDB, is the subject of a money laundering probe. Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing.
Najib, in some of his most extensive comments yet on the 1MDB scandal, told Reuters last week that he did not know if hundreds of millions of dollars that moved through his personal account was from 1MDB, and if money from the fund was eventually laundered to acquire assets globally, including yachts, paintings, gems and prime real estate.
Transactions involving 1MDB are being investigated in half a dozen countries, including the United States, where it has become the biggest case pursued by the Department of Justice under its anti-kleptocracy program.
The US Department of Justice has alleged in lawsuits that more than $4.5 billion from 1MDB was laundered through a complex web of transactions and shell companies, of which $681 million ended in Najib’s bank account. Najib says the money in his account was donations from Saudi Arabia, most of which he returned.
According to the US justice department, assets purchased using 1MDB money include a Picasso painting, luxury real estate in South California and New York, shares in a Hollywood production company and a $265 million yacht, and more than $200 million worth of jewelry — including a 22-carat pink diamond pendant and necklace.