Kenya dismisses report of ‘White Widow’ sighting

Updated 03 June 2014
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Kenya dismisses report of ‘White Widow’ sighting

NAIROBI: Kenyan officials on Tuesday dismissed a report that British terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite, known as the “White Widow,” had been inadvertently helped to leave the coastal resort island of Lamu.
According to the Standard newspaper, a “mysterious” white woman who may have been Lewthwaite was allegedly offered a police escort in April to visit a Kenyan army base in Somalia before disappearing.
“These are wild allegations, which are not true,” Lamu County police commander Leonard Omollo told AFP, explaining that the woman who was escorted had been identified as a Spanish tourist.
“This lady was a visiting tourist from Spain and she has since returned home,” he said. Kenya’s military spokesman, Willy Wesonga, refused to comment on the report.
Lewthwaite, a 30-year-old Muslim convert, has been linked to Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-tied Shabab rebels, who have launched a string of attacks in Kenya including last September’s assault on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that claimed at least 67 lives.
She is the widow of Germaine Lindsay, one of four suicide bombers who attacked the London transport network on July 7, 2005, killing 52 people.
Lewthwaite is the subject of an Interpol “red notice” warrant for her detention, issued at Kenya’s request. She is wanted in Kenya on charges of being in possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony dating back to December 2011.


Dozens of casualties reported after Taliban attack on Afghan base

Updated 25 min 50 sec ago
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Dozens of casualties reported after Taliban attack on Afghan base

  • The attack killed as many as 44 Afghan police and soldiers, provincial officials said
  • It is the latest in a series that have killed dozens of members of the security forces in provinces across Afghanistan

KABUL: A Taliban attack on a military outpost in the northern province of Baghlan in the early hours of Wednesday killed as many as 44 Afghan police and soldiers, provincial officials said, as the insurgents kept up pressure on government forces.

There was no immediate comment from the ministry of defense but officials in the area said nine police and 35 soldiers were killed in the attack, the latest in a series that have killed dozens of members of the security forces in provinces across Afghanistan.

The attack came as the situation in the embattled central city of Ghazni eased after the Taliban said they had ordered forces out after five days of fighting that killed and wounded hundreds and left the city a burned-out wreck.

The city hospital was overcrowded with hundreds of wounded people and dozens of bodies and people desperately searching for relatives among the dead and wounded.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was providing dressing packages and oral and intravenous medicine to treat wounded at the provincial hospital.

The ICRC also sent fresh water and electricity generators for trauma surgeries and delivered material for the management of remains.

About 20 percent of the population in Ghazni depend on the city water system, which has been down since the beginning of fighting. The ICRC is organizing emergency water supplies by truck to cover the needs of about 18,000 people.

“Some people had managed to flee the city but there were many others trapped in their houses,” said one Taliban commander, who said the decision to pull out was made to prevent further destruction in the city.

“They were facing severe shortage of food and drinking water as the power supply was also suspended to the city two days ago,” the Taliban commander, who declined to be identified, said by telephone.