Five Kenyan soldiers killed in roadside blast

The Shabab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu for over a decade. (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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Five Kenyan soldiers killed in roadside blast

  • The Shabab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu for over a decade
  • The attack, which the police blame on Al-Qaeda aligned Somali Shabab militants

NAIROBI: Five Kenyan soldiers were killed Wednesday when their vehicle was blown up by an improvised explosive device in the eastern Lamu county, police sources said.
“The officers were on a light truck that ran over the IED and was badly destroyed and the officers died on the spot. Six others have been injured,” a senior police officer in Lamu told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Another police officer in Lamu confirmed the deaths but did not give any further information: “Yes it is true five soldiers were killed and six injured.”
The attack, which the police blame on Al-Qaeda aligned Somali Shabab militants, took place on the road to the town of Bodhei near the Boni Forest, which the Islamists use as a refuge.
The use of homemade explosives against police and army patrols in the border areas of northern and eastern Kenya near Somalia is relatively common.
The Shabab claimed to have killed 11 soldiers in Lamu County as well as a Somali soldier in Lower Shabelle, the SITE Intelligence Group, monitoring the Shahada News Agency, said in an email.
The organization has claimed several such attacks in the past, in which dozens of Kenyan policemen and soldiers have died.
The Shabab has been fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu for over a decade.
They were expelled from the Somali capital in 2011 and lost most of their strongholds, but they still control large rural areas from where they carry out guerrilla operations and suicide bombings, including in Mogadishu.
Wednesday’s blast came a day after the 20th anniversary of the attacks against the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in 1998, which killed 224 people and marked the emergence of Al-Qaeda on the international stage.


Trump drops new North Korea sanctions because he ‘likes’ Kim

In this file photo taken on February 27, 2019 US President Donald Trump (L) speaks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi. (AFP)
Updated 23 March 2019
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Trump drops new North Korea sanctions because he ‘likes’ Kim

  • “President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” the president’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Friday abruptly announced the cancelation of sanctions imposed by his own Treasury Department to tighten international pressure on North Korea.
“It was announced today by the US Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!” Trump said in a tweet.
He appeared to be referring to measures unveiled Thursday that targeted two Chinese companies accused of helping North Korea to evade tight international sanctions meant to pressure Pyongyang into ending its nuclear weapons program.
But The Washington Post reported, citing Trump administration officials, that the president’s tweet referenced future sanctions that had not been announced and were scheduled for “the coming days.”
The Thursday sanctions were the first new sign of pressure since talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke down in Hanoi less than a month ago.
However, Trump, who has previously spoken of “love” for the totalitarian leader, appears to retain hope that his strong personal relationship will bear fruit.
“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” the president’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said.
Adam Schiff, a Democrat who heads the intelligence committee in the House of Representatives, blasted Trump for canceling sanctions “imposed only yesterday and championed by his own national security adviser, because he ‘loves’ Kim.”
“Foolish naivete is dangerous enough. Gross incompetence and disarray in the White House make it even worse,” Schiff tweeted.
On Thursday, Trump national security adviser John Bolton had tweeted that the sanctions were meant to put an end to “illicit shipping practices” by North Korea.
“Everyone should take notice and review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea’s sanctions evasion,” he said.
China complained, saying that it did enforce all UN resolutions and opposed “any country imposing unilateral sanctions and taking long-arm jurisdiction against any Chinese entity according to their own domestic laws.”
This was Trump’s second major, unexpected foreign policy announcement by Twitter in two days.
On Thursday, he sent a tweet reversing decades of US policy and pledged to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the hotly contested Golan Heights border area with Syria.