Car bomb kills 6 near Somalia presidential palace

An injured man is assisted after a suicide car bomb attack that targeted a check point in Mogadishu, Somalia, on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
Updated 22 March 2017

Car bomb kills 6 near Somalia presidential palace

MOGADISHU, Somalia: A car bomb exploded Tuesday at a military checkpoint near Somalia’s presidential palace in the capital, killing at least six people, the spokesman for Mogadishu’s mayor said.
The dead included a soldier and five civilians, Abdifitah Halane said. Another dozen people were injured.
The blast was detonated after soldiers tried to stop the car and the bomber tried to speed through the checkpoint, police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said.
The checkpoint is one of several that motorists must go through before reaching the heavily guarded presidential palace, which has seen previous attacks by the Al-Qaeda-linked extremist group Al-Shabab.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Al-Shabab often claims deadly bombings in Mogadishu.
The blast came a few hours after Somalia’s new prime minister unveiled a 26-member cabinet, the latest step as the fragile central government tries to further assert itself beyond the capital.
The threat of Al-Shabab attacks is a major challenge for the country’s new Somali-American president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who has vowed to make security a priority in this Horn of Africa nation.
But the extremist group, which was kicked out of Mogadishu under Mohamed’s brief term as prime minister in 2010-2011, has denounced the new president as an “apostate” and warned Somalis against supporting him.
Al-Shabab has lost most of its key strongholds across south and central Somalia to a multi-pronged offensive by allied Somali and African Union forces. But despite being ousted from most cities and towns, the group continues to carry out deadly attacks, many by suicide bombers, including in Mogadishu.

Malaysia arrests 680 Chinese nationals during online scam syndicate bust

Updated 12 min 28 sec ago

Malaysia arrests 680 Chinese nationals during online scam syndicate bust

  • Immigration officers track escaped suspects, seize thousands of electronic devices after huge sting operation
  • Operators would send a code to certain websites in mandarin and scam their victims’ money through WeChat services and banks in China

KUALA LUMPUR: At least 680 Chinese nationals have been arrested and hundreds more are being tracked down after Malaysian immigration authorities busted an online scam syndicate.

Around 150 immigration officers on Wednesday launched an early morning raid on sixth-floor office premises in the town of Cyberjaya, in Selangor, as part of a carefully planned sting operation.

Immigration director general, Khairul Dzaimee Daud, told Arab News that investigations were still underway into the alleged scamming activities of the 603 men and 77 women, aged between 19 and 35, arrested during the bust.

The scam is believed to have targeted Chinese citizens by offering fast profits in return for investments through the popular social media platform WeChat Pay.

Working from the syndicate’s Cyberjaya base, operators would send a code to certain websites in mandarin and scam their victims’ money through WeChat services and banks in China.

Following tip-offs from members of the public, Malaysian authorities conducted a month-long surveillance of the building before mounting the raid during which officers seized thousands of items of electronic equipment, including 8,230 handphones, 787 computers and 174 laptops.

Daud said on Thursday that those arrested had violated Malaysia’s immigration laws by entering the country on social visit passes with some overstaying their visa time limits.

“All of the Chinese nationals could not produce their passports or travel documents after being arrested, and no representative could produce valid documents on behalf of them,” the immigration chief added.

A number of immigration officers required treatment for injuries after scuffles broke out during the bust, and up to 150 Chinese nationals are thought to have escaped from the building.

Aerial videos showing suspects jumping from windows and fleeing the building quickly went viral on social media.

“The immigration department will continue to be on the lookout for individuals involved in the scam activities and is working closely with the Malaysian central bank and the police,” added Daud.