Somali forces arrest former minister in raid

FILE PHOTO: Members of Somali Armed Forces take up positions in the Dayniile district of Mogadishu, Somalia. (Reuters)
Updated 18 December 2017
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Somali forces arrest former minister in raid

MOGADISHU: Somali security forces have arrested a former minister and outspoken government critic after clashing with his bodyguards during an overnight raid on his home, the security ministry said on Monday.
Abdirahman Abdishakur was a candidate in a February election won by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed whose UN-backed government faces growing pressure over its failure to put an end to a militant insurgency.
Abdishakur was arrested for treason, a spokesman for the Internal Security Ministry Abdiasis Ali told reporters at a news conference, without giving more details.
He also declined to comment on reports that five bodyguards were killed and that Abdishakur had been lightly injured during the raid.
“The former minister was legally arrested by decree from the attorney general and internal security minister. He was accused of treason. His guards fought the security forces,” he said.
A policeman and a local elder told Reuters earlier that five bodyguards were killed during the raid. The elder, Abdullahi Ali, also said Abdishakur had been injured on the arm by a stray bullet.
At the same news conference on Monday, Attorney General Ahmed Ali Dahir described Abdishakur’s house as a hub for the opposition and a gathering point for people “who want to collapse the government.”
“We also warn those who meet at hotels,” he added. Many Somali officials including lawmakers live in fortified hotels for the security they offer.
Before Sunday’s raid Dahir had accused two other lawmakers of treason, prompting Abdishakur to post an angry response on Facebook.
“Let lawmakers be strangled, let their immunity be removed: This is a hopeless attack which portrays despair.”
The raid drew condemnation from other politicians.
 


Did lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?

Updated 23 October 2018
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Did lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?

  • Hamas took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack
  • Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true

JERUSALEM: A theory that a lightning strike triggered Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza last week gained traction in Israel on Tuesday and might explain the Israeli military’s limited response.
Two rockets were launched from the Hamas-ruled enclave on Oct. 17. But the group took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack. Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true.
One of the rockets wrecked a house in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, causing no casualties, the other landed in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel responded with air strikes that killed a militant in Gaza.
Soon afterwards, video appeared on social media showing lightning illuminating the night sky in Gaza and then two flaming rockets streaking into the air.
Israel’s best-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet now believed the lighting set off a launch mechanism.
Asked about the report, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the security cabinet, told Israel Radio: “I won’t discuss security cabinet meetings and I don’t know which ministers are chatting with journalists, but I can say that as far as we know, Hamas did not intend to fire those rockets.”
Hamas officials had no immediate comment.
The rocket launchings coincided with Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, which have fought three wars in the past 10 years.