Nairobi, Oct 13 (AP/UNB) — Kenya's police chief says a roadside bomb has killed 11 officers on the country's southern border with Somalia.
Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai said Saturday the officers' patrol car was blown up on Damajale Hare Hare road near the town of Liboi. No one has claimed responsibility for the bomb, but al-Shabab militants from Somalia are suspected.
The al-Qaida-linked group has increasingly targeted Kenyan security forces in recent years. It vowed to take retribution on Kenya in 2011 for sending troops into Somalia to target its fighters.
In July, Kenyan border police killed three suspected al-Shabab members who allegedly blew up their vehicle near the Somali border. A January attack on a Nairobi luxury hotel complex by al-Shabab extremists killed 21 people.
El-Arish, Oct 13 (AP/UNB) — A shell hit a truck carrying civilians in Egypt's restive northern Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, killing at least nine people of the same family, security officials and medics said.
The officials said the shell exploded in the small town of Bir al-Abd. At least six others were wounded and were taken to a hospital, they said.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the shelling, which struck the family while they were returning home from their olive farm, according to two residents in the town.
The residents spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern for their safety.
Separately, officials say seven security forces were wounded when two explosive devices hit armored vehicles in Bir al-Abd and the town of Rafah, along the border with Gaza.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.
No group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Egypt is battling an Islamic State-led insurgency in the Sinai that intensified after the military overthrew an Islamist president in 2013. The militants have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting the security forces and minority Christians.
Bir al-Abd was the site of a horrific 2017 attack on a mosque by Islamic extremists that killed over 300 worshippers.
The war has largely taken place hidden from the public eye, with journalists, non-residents and outside observers barred from the area. The conflict has also been kept at a distance from tourist resorts at the southern end of the peninsula.
In February last year, the military launched a massive operation in Sinai that also encompassed parts of the Nile Delta and deserts along the country's western border with Libya. Since then, the pace of IS attacks in Sinai's main theater has slowed to a trickle.
Cairo, Oct 12 (AP/UNB) — An Egyptian court has sentenced six people to death on terror-related charges for carrying out a militant attack outside a hotel near the famed Giza Pyramids.
The Giza criminal court on Saturday also sentenced eight defendants to life in prison on similar charges that include attacking security forces, and possession of weapons and explosives.
Another 12 defendants received 10 years in prison. The verdict can be appealed.
The charges stem from an attack in Jan. 2016 on an Egyptian security post outside the Three Pyramids Hotel.
No one was hurt in the incident, but the attack damaged the hotel's facade and also a bus parked in front of the building, which was in use by a group of visiting Arab Israelis.
Port-Au-Prince, Oct 11 (AP/UNB)— Protesters burned tires and spilled oil on streets in parts of Haiti's capital on Friday as they renewed their call for the resignation of President Jovenel Moïse just hours after a journalist was shot to death.
No one has been arrested in the death of reporter Néhémie Joseph of Radio Méga, who had been covering the protests and was found dead in his car late Thursday in the town of Mirebalais, northeast of Port-au-Prince, according to Radio Vision 2000.
In a Facebook post in late September, Joseph said that a couple of politicians had threatened him after one of his shows and accused him of inciting protests. It was unclear, however, if this was the motive for his killing.
The Association of Professional Journalists of Artibonite asked justice officials to investigate the killing.
"The press should not have to claim victims and bodies as their own," the group said.
Joseph is the third Haitian journalist killed in less than two years. Radio Sans Fin reporter Pétion Rospide was fatally shot in June as he drove home, while freelance journalist Vladjimir Legagneur disappeared in March 2018 while working on a story.
The most recent killing comes amid a spike in violence in Haiti's capital and surrounding communities as protests that have caused nearly 20 deaths and almost 200 injuries paralyze the country for nearly a month. Businesses remain shuttered and an estimated 2 million children have not been able to go to school, according to the United Nations.
"It's a very, very serious situation," said Michèle Pierre-Louis, a former prime minister with the non-governmental organization FOKAL. "No one is really talking about the suffering of the people. The consequences are terrible."
Earlier this week, Moïse announced the creation of a commission charged with finding a solution to end the worsening crisis, but opposition leaders have rejected his call for dialogue and unity. The opposition says it wants Moïse to step down as anger over corruption, rising inflation and lack of basic goods including fuel continue to roil Haiti.
Many also are calling for a more in-depth investigation following a report by Haiti's Senate that accuses former top government officials from the administration of former president Michel Martelly of misusing at least $2 billion in funds tied to a Venezuelan subsidized oil program that were meant for social programs.
The report also names a company that Moïse once owned. Moïse, who was Martelly's hand-picked successor, has denied the allegations.
Maiduguri, Oct 11 (AP/UNB) — Thousands of Nigerian hunters, armed with charmed amulets and intimate knowledge of harsh terrain, are preparing an offensive against the Boko Haram extremists who have ravaged the northeast for a decade, calling it "high time" they help soldiers end the deadly insurgency.
Nigeria's government discouraged a similar offensive five years ago, calling it a suicide mission. This time it has the backing of the governor of Borno state, which has suffered the worst of the Boko Haram attacks.
It is a sign that Nigerian authorities, who have repeatedly claimed the defeat of Boko Haram, might be running out of options against the Islamic extremists and a recent offshoot that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
Borno state's new Gov. Babagana Zulum, who inherited the conflict after winning election earlier this year, said he is tired of applying conventional strategies against an extremist group that has killed and abducted tens of thousands of people and displaced millions. The unrest has created a vast humanitarian crisis.
The governor recently approved the sourcing of at least 10,000 hunters to help end the fighting.
While Nigeria's military would not comment, government spokesman Isa Gusau confirmed that the governor has decided to "aggressively explore every lawful means necessary in trying to put an end to the insurgency" after consultations with key stakeholders including elders and traditional rulers.
"We need all the prayers we can get, given the task ahead," Gusau said.
The hunters are separate from the civilian self-defense forces that have sprung up in northeastern Nigeria to combat the Boko Haram insurgency. Usually inheriting their vocation, the hunters are seen as the only group with intimate knowledge of the forests and other terrain in the vast region near Lake Chad. They see their charms and amulets as protection from attack.
An Associated Press reporter this week visited the camp where about 2,000 hunters have been waiting ahead of their march into the Sambisa forest and other Boko Haram hideouts.
More than 5,000 are being mobilized from Nigeria and regional countries including Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad, said one leader of the hunters, Baba Maigiwa.
"The majority of our men have returned to their various states and communities to go and bid their families farewell" but are on their way back to the Borno capital, Maiduguri, said another leader, Abdulkareem Umar.
"We are here because the governor is passionate about ending this madness called Boko Haram," he said.
"I remember about five years ago when we, on our own, converged here in Maiduguri with the intention of storming Sambisa forest to confront Boko Haram, but we did not get the backing of the government and the military. As law-abiding citizens, we had to withdraw. But as this is happening now, it means it is time."
He said the hunters had received 10 vehicles from the state government to help in transport but said they need 30 more, along with weapons.
"We have also made it clear to the authorities that the difference between the soldiers and the hunters is the military training and our knowledge of the jungle," he said. "But what unites us both is armament. So we need arms and ammunition, just like the soldiers. When that is done, the rest would be history, by the grace of God."
He said the hunters are being fed by the Borno state government as they wait for the offensive, and food and water have been deployed to various locations that can be used as forward operating bases.
"We are so happy with the move the state governor is making by recognizing the contributions that the hunters can bring into the counterinsurgency war," said another hunters' chief, Maigana Maidurma. "We are ready to lay down our lives if that is what it would take to bring peace to our dear land."
A younger hunter, 32-year-old Auwal Unar, called the upcoming offensive "a war to safeguard our future and the safety of our women and children."
He said the hunters believe in the potency of the charms they will carry into battle.
"We don't fear guns but fear only God," he said. "When we roar in the jungle even the lions fear because our fathers have tapped the secret of the forests, so Boko Haram will have no hiding place. They will have no choice than to surrender, or they die if they dare stand in our way."