US drone strikes in Somalia kill 6 Al-Shabab rebels

Somali soldiers examine the wreckage following a car bomb blast in Mogadishu, Somalia on Sept. 11, 2017, by al-Shabaab extremists. On Wednesday, six fighters of the Al-Qaeda linked terror group were killed in air strikes by US forces in Somalia. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Updated 13 September 2017
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US drone strikes in Somalia kill 6 Al-Shabab rebels

MOGADISHU: The US has carried out three drone strikes in southern Somalia that killed six members of the Al-Shabab extremist group, the military said Wednesday, as efforts increase to combat Africa’s deadliest extremist organization.
A US Africa Command statement said Wednesday morning’s strikes occurred about 260 km south of the capital, Mogadishu. The statement, unlike previous ones, did not give more information on the location of the strikes.
“We assess no civilians were near the site,” a spokeswoman for the US Africa Command, Robyn Mack, told The Associated Press. She said they had no details on the Al-Shabab members killed.
The US military has carried out several airstrikes against the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa nation since President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group. The US said the latest strikes were carried out in coordination with Somalia’s government.
The US last week announced that two separate drone strikes had killed four Al-Shabab members.
Al-Shabab holds vast areas of rural Somalia after being chased out of major cities in recent years by a multinational African Union force and Somali forces. The group continues to threaten the fragile central government and carry out deadly attacks in neighboring countries, notably Kenya.
The US and Somalia in recent weeks said strikes have killed Al-Shabab leaders responsible for planning and executing deadly attacks in Mogadishu, where high-profile areas such as hotels and military checkpoints are often targeted with deadly bombings.
But concerns also were raised last month after Somali officials said 10 civilians, including children, were killed in a raid by foreign and Somali forces in Barire village in the south. The US military at the time confirmed it had supported a counter-terror operation in the area and said it would look into the allegations.


German court rejects call for Catalan leader Puigdemont to be rearrested

Updated 48 min 10 sec ago
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German court rejects call for Catalan leader Puigdemont to be rearrested

BERLIN: A German court on Tuesday rejected a request from prosecutors to take former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont back into custody pending a decision on whether he can be extradited to Spain.
Puigdemont was detained by German police March 25 after crossing the border from Denmark. Spain had issued a European arrest warrant and sought his extradition on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds — charges that stem from an unauthorized referendum last year on Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
He was released April 6 after a German court said it appeared he can’t be extradited for rebellion, the more serious of the two charges. But prosecutors in the northern town of Schleswig argued that new information provided by Spanish authorities suggests that would be possible.
They cited videos showing violence against Spanish police and said in a statement that “the disturbances were on such a scale that prosecutors believe that he should also be extradited over the accusation of rebellion.” The prosecutors argued that the charge is comparable to two offenses under German law — treason and breaching the peace.
They said that Puigdemont would pose a flight risk and called for him to be taken back into custody. The state court in Schleswig disagreed and rejected the request.
Puigdemont remains free with certain conditions, including reporting to police once a week.
The separatist politician has been living in Berlin, frequently receiving political allies from Catalonia including his newly elected successor as regional president, Quim Torra.
The Schleswig court said it is “still open” when a final decision will be made on whether Puigdemont can be extradited. It said that the prosecutors have yet to submit a formal application to examine whether an extradition is possible.