Al Shabab attacks African Union base in Somalia: Military

People gather near damaged vehicles after a car bomb blew up outside the Weheliye hotel in Mogadishu on March 22, 2018. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 01 April 2018

Al Shabab attacks African Union base in Somalia: Military

MOGADISHU:  Heavily-armed Al-Shabaab militants attacked an African Union military camp outside Mogadishu on Sunday, killing four Ugandan peacekeepers, their army said.
Local sources said a massive blast was heard in the Bulomarer district, around 150 kilometres south of Mogadishu, and fighting broke out after dozens of heavily armed Shabaab militants stormed the base.
"The heavy blast struck the base before fighting broke out. We are hearing the militants used a minibus loaded with explosives to make their way in before the heavily armed confrontation started at the camp," said local security official Ibrahim Abdilahi.
Extremist insurgents battled for hours on Sunday with African Union troops after exploding a car bomb outside their base, Somali police, military and the militants said.

Since withdrawing from Mogadishu in 2011, the Al-Qaeda-linked group has lost control of most of Somalia’s cities and towns. But it still retains a strong presence in regions outside the capital.
The militants initially detonated two suicide car bombs that hit one AU vehicle and one Somali military vehicle, Somali army major Farah Osman, who is stationed near the AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) base, said.
“Then a large number of Al-Shabab militants began firing from under the trees ... it was a hellish battle,” he said, adding there was an unknown number of casualties.
The phone of the spokesman for the AMISOM force based in Mogadishu was switched off on Sunday and Reuters was unable to reach any other officials from the force for comment.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, a spokesman for Al-Shabab said 14 of the group’s fighters and 59 AMISOM troops were killed in the incident.
A police major stationed in a nearby town also said two car bombs exploded outside the base before the Al-Shabab militants entered it.
Major Nur Ali told Reuters that Somali and AMISOM forces had attacked Al-Shabab in rural areas near the base on Saturday night. “Then Al-Shabab attacked this morning as a revenge,” he said.
Somalia has been mired in civil war since 1991.


UK police arrest man after stabbing at London Central Mosque

Updated 32 min 23 sec ago

UK police arrest man after stabbing at London Central Mosque

  • Victim was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital
  • Man who was attacked in his 70s and stabbed multiple times

LONDON: A man attacked the elderly muezzin at one of London’s main mosques on Thursday, stabbing him in the neck before being arrested.

Metropolitan Police said they were called to London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park after reports of a stabbing.

Police were called to London Central Mosque, also known as Regent's Park mosque, on the city's Park Road to reports of a stabbing. (James Stringer/Flickr)

The attack targeted the muezzin, who performs the mosque’s call to prayer, the Muslim hate crime monitor TellMAMA, said. 

The man who was attacked is in his 70s and was stabbed multiple times, Sky News reported.


He was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital. His injuries are thought to be non-life threatening.

Police said a man was arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder and a crime scene was put in place.

Video showed police subduing a man inside the mosque before leading him away in handcuffs. He was wearing a red hooded top and no shoes. 

Director-general of the Islamic Cultural Centre, part of the mosque, Dr. Ahmad Al-Dubayan described the attack and the emergency services’ response while confirming the victim was in a good condition.

He told Arab News: “We don’t have any information about the motive for this incident, why he did this or who he is even.

“Of course, we are unhappy about what happened, but we all hope that it was an individual attack and nothing linked to anything further than this attack itself.

“But we are worried and sorry about what has happened.” 

A makeshift area for sunset prayers was set up in the mosque so that worshippers could still pray despite the incident.