Al-Shabab threatens to eliminate Somali MPs ‘one by one’

Updated 25 September 2012

Al-Shabab threatens to eliminate Somali MPs ‘one by one’

NAIROBI: Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab threatened yesterday to kill Somalia’s all the new lawmakers, saying that an MP killed at the weekend in Mogadishu was just the first to be targeted.
“The successful elimination of Mustafa Haji Mohamed was the action of the mujahideen who are committed to killing all MPs,” according to a Al-Shabab official, who said, the group would kill all other lawmakers “one-by-one”.
“The remaining 274 MPs are on the waiting list to die if they don’t abandon the criminal organisation that was set up contrary to Islamic law,” the official said, referring to the new Parliament selected in August.
Parliament’s election this month of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as president and the end of Somalia’s transitional institutions in August had sparked hopes of a new beginning for the country after two decades of war. Some analysts had hoped that Hassan might succeed in bringing the hardline Islamist Al-Shabab rebel group, which considered his predecessor Sharif Sheikh Ahmed a traitor, to the negotiating table.
But the new president survived an assassination bid on Sept. 12, just two days after he was elected, when apparent suicide bomb attacks claimed by the Al-Shabab rebels rocked a Mogadishu hotel, killing three soldiers.
Mustafa Haji, the father-in-law of former president Sharif, was gunned down on Saturday after leaving a mosque in Mogadishu, the first lawmaker to be targeted since the new assembly came into being.
After more than two decades of anarchy and war, Mogadishu has been coming back to life since the Al-Shabab left frontline fighting positions, with a boom in building and business.
Al-Al-Shabab has been fighting the Somali government for nearly five years. Africa Union forces pushed al-Shabab out of Mogadishu in Aug. 2011 but the militants have continued to carry out suicide attacks in the capital. Government figures in Somalia are frequently targeted for death.
Last Thursday, Al-Shabab supporters launched a double suicide attack on an upmarket restaurant in the capital opened by Somalis from the diaspora, killing 18 people, including three journalists.
Another journalist, Hassan Yusuf Absuge of independent Radio Maanta, was gunned down in the Somali capital a day later. No group has yet claimed responsibility for his murder.
Press rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders has called 2012 the deadliest year on record for Somali journalists with 13 dead so far, surpassing 2009 when nine died.
Meanwhile, the U.N.’s representative to Somalia, Augustine Mahiga, on Sunday condemned the killing of the Somali member of parliament, and called it a cowardly attack.

 


On 16th birthday, California student opens fire at his high school, killing two

Updated 15 November 2019

On 16th birthday, California student opens fire at his high school, killing two

SANTA CLARITA, California: A Southern California high school student pulled a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun from his backpack and fired on fellow classmates on Thursday morning, killing two and wounding three others.
He saved the last bullet for himself. It was his 16th birthday.
The teenaged gunman, whose name was not provided by police, survived the self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head but was in grave condition in hospital, law enforcement officials said.
Captain Kent Wegener of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told reporters the entire incident, captured on videotape, took 16 seconds as the young man stood in one spot and fired on one student after another.
“From right where he was standing, he doesn’t chase anybody, he fires from where he is until he shoots himself,” Wegener said.
The scene at Saugus High School was reminiscent of other mass shootings at US schools, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a former student with an assault gun killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018.
Wegener confirmed the suspect posted a message on his Instagram account before the shooting that said: “Saugus have fun at school tomorrow.” The post was later taken down.
The two slain students were a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. Two other girls, aged 14 and 15, were wounded, as was a 14-year old boy, Wegener said.

Students are evacuated from Saugus High School onto a school bus after a shooting at the school left two students dead and three wounded on Nove. 14, 2019 in Santa Clarita, California. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP)


Motive unknown
Investigators said they did not yet know what led the student to open fire at the school 40 miles (65 km) north of Los Angeles.
Police said the accused shooter had acted alone. Investigators descended on his family home, blocking off the street. They found no further danger there.
A next-door neighbor, registered nurse Jared Axen, said the suspect had seemed introverted, quiet and sad, possibly despondent over the loss of his father from a heart attack in December 2017.
Axen, 33, said it was the boy who found his father deceased, not long after the older man had regained his sobriety and gotten his life “back on track” after years of struggling with alcohol abuse.
“I would say he (the boy) was hurting and couldn’t ask for help,” Axen said of the suspect, who was a track athlete at the school, involved in Boy Scouts and liked the outdoors, going on hunting trips with his father.
He was of mixed race, born to Japanese-born mother and white father, with an older sister who became a nurse and moved away.
“I would ask him how school was ... he would never bring up concerns of bullying or being a loaner there,” Axen said.
There was no immediate word on where the teen gunman obtained the weapon.
“How do we come out of tragedy? We need to say ‘No more!’ This is a tragic event. It happens too frequently,” said Captain Robert Lewis of Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s station, striking an emotional note in an otherwise somber news conference.


Latest school shooting
A 16-year-old Saugus High School junior named Pamela, who spoke to Reuters on condition that she not give her last name, said she was in her first-period choir class when some girls ran into the room and said there was a shooting going on.
“Our teacher immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher and got us into her office and locked the door,” Pamela said, adding that one of the girls had been shot in the shoulder.
Taylor Hardges reported seeing people running in the hallways shouting “Run!” She raced into a classroom, where a teacher barricaded the room.
“We’ve had drills. It doesn’t prepare you for the real thing,” she said after reuniting with her father at a designated spot in Santa Clarita’s Central Park.
Her father, Terrence Hardges, said he felt his heart race after Taylor texted him from inside the classroom with the message: “I love you. I’m pinned in a room. We’re locked in.”
The shooting at Saugus was the 85th incidence of gunfire at a school this year, according to Everytown, a gun control advocacy group. It seems sure to reignite a debate over gun control in the 2020 presidential election.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School, where two teenagers went on a rampage, fatally shooting 12 students and a teacher and wounding more than 20 others before killing themselves.