At least 14 dead, several hurt in car bomb in Somali capital

Somalis stand outside a destroyed building after a car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia Thursday, Mar. 22, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 March 2018
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At least 14 dead, several hurt in car bomb in Somali capital

MOGADISHU: At least 14 people were killed and 10 others wounded in a car bomb blast near a hotel in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, Somali officials said Thursday.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein said the explosion occurred near the Weheliye hotel on the busy Makka Almukarramah road. The road has been a target of attacks in the past by the Somalia-based extremist group Al-Shabab, the deadliest extremist group in Africa.
Most of the casualties were passers-by and traders, Hussein told The Associated Press. The toll of dead and wounded was announced by security ministry spokesman Abdulaziz Hildhiban.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the blast. The group frequently attacks Mogadishu's high-profile areas such as hotels and military checkpoints. A truck bombing in October killed 512 people in the country's deadliest-ever attack. Only a few attacks since 9/11 have killed more people. Al-Shabab was blamed.
Thursday's blast comes almost exactly a month after two car bomb explosions in Mogadishu shattered a months-long period of calm in the city, killing at least 21 people.
The Horn of Africa nation continues to struggle to counter the extremist group. Concerns have been high over plans to hand over the country's security to Somalia's own forces as a 21,000-strong African Union force begins a withdrawal that is expected to be complete in 2020.
The US military, which has stepped up efforts against Al-Shabab in the past year with dozens of drone strikes, has said Somali forces are not yet ready.


Trump missteps fuel new energy in Democrats’ campaigns

Updated 40 sec ago
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Trump missteps fuel new energy in Democrats’ campaigns

RICHMOND, Virginia: Democrats have a not-so-secret weapon for the midterm campaigns: President Donald Trump.
Trump is sparking a Democratic renaissance across the country, prompting candidates, activists and voters to pour their outrage, money and time into local races across the country.
Strategists from both parties agree that opposition to Trump alone isn’t enough to win a congressional race. But the president’s ability to constantly court controversy provides weekly shots of adrenaline to Democrats.
Opposition to the president is changing the political map for Democrats who find themselves riding a wave of anti-Trump energy to compete in areas they once left for lost.