US strike in Somalia kills Shabab ‘senior leader’: Pentagon

A view taken on July 13, 2019 shows the rubbles of the popular Medina hotel of Kismayo, a day after at least 26 people, including several foreigners, were killed and 56 injured in a suicide bomb and gun attack claimed by Al-Shabaab militants. (AFP)
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Updated 07 April 2020

US strike in Somalia kills Shabab ‘senior leader’: Pentagon

  • The strike left three Shabab militants dead, including Yusuf Jiis, a “foundational” leader of the extremist organization, which has carried out deadly attacks against Somali government
  • Africa Command Commander General Stephen Townsend said Jiis was a “key leader” in Al-Shabab

WASHINGTON: An April 2 airstrike by US forces in Somalia killed a “senior leader” of the Al-Shabab militant group, the US Defense Department said Tuesday.
The strike left three Shabab militants dead, including Yusuf Jiis, a “foundational” leader of the extremist organization, which has carried out deadly attacks against Somali government and public targets for years, the US Africa Command said in a statement.
Africa Command Commander General Stephen Townsend said Jiis was a “key leader” in Al-Shabab.
“He was violent, ruthless, and responsible for the loss of many innocent lives,” Townsend said in a statement.
Africa Command said the strike took place near Bush Madina, 135 miles (217 kilometers) west of Mogadishu, and was carried out in coordination with the Somali government.
It was one of several recent strikes on the group, often precision missiles launched by drones.
Another strike against Al-Shabab was carried out on Monday in the Jilib area of Somalia, which US forces said killed five extremists.
Africa Command said it was investigating reports of civilian deaths and injuries although it expressed confidence that there weren’t any.
Townsend said there would be no letup in the US campaign against Al-Shabab during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Somalia remains key to the security environment in East Africa, and its long-term stability is important to advancing comprehensive US interests in the region,” Africa Command said.


Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

Updated 01 June 2020

Truck drives into US crowd protesting George Floyd killing, underscoring volatile situation

  • Protesters managed to stop the truck and beat up the driver, who was later arrested by police
  • A New York City Police car earlier drove into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota: A tanker truck drove through thousands of people marching on a Minneapolis highway to protest the death of George Floyd on Sunday before protesters dragged the driver from the cab and beat him, according to a Reuters witness and authorities.
It did not appear any of the marchers were injured when the truck raced toward them on I-35, blowing its horn, sending protesters scattering before coming to a stop, according to the witness and a tweet by the Minnesota Department of Public Security (MNDPS).
Police arrived soon after and arrested the truck driver, who was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, MNDPS said.
Video of the incident shows protesters swarming the vehicle before it comes to a stop.

Protesters hand over to police the driver of a tanker truck after he drove into a crowd marching on 35W north bound highway in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 31, 2020. (REUTERS/Eric Miller)

“The incident just underscores the volatile situation we have out there,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz told a news conference, adding he did not know the motives of the driver.
It marked the second incident in as many days of a vehicle driving at people protesting Floyd’s death after a New York City Police car was captured on video on Saturday driving into a crowd of protesters who were pelting it with objects.
“Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators,” MNDPS tweeted.
Video showed the truck had a logo on its side for “Kenan Advantage Group,” an Ohio-based transportation company.
The company said in a statement that it was informed of an incident involving one of its independent contractors in Minneapolis and it would be cooperating with investigating authorities.
MNDPS did not identify the driver but said the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were investigating the incident as a criminal matter.