A bus fell into a canal in Egypt’s Nile River Delta region Saturday killing at least 21 people, the country’s Health Ministry said. Dr. Sherif Makeen, a health ministry official, said three children were among the dead. In a statement, the ministry said the accident happened in Dakahlia province, around 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of the capital of Cairo. Other injured passengers were transported to a local hospital. The head of police investigations in the province, Brig. Mohamed Abdel Hadi, said the driver may have lost control of the vehicle’s steering wheel. Read: Small plane crashes into Tanzania's Lake Victoria, 19 dead Deadly traffic accidents claim thousands of lives every year in Egypt, which has a poor transportation safety record. Crashes and collisions are mostly caused by speeding, bad roads or poor enforcement of traffic laws. In July, a passenger bus slammed into a parked trailer truck on a highway in the southern province of Minya, killing 23 people and injuring 30. In October, a truck slammed into a minibus in Dakahlia, killing at least 10 people, authorities said.
Zimbabwe and Uganda recently launched their first homegrown satellites – a "milestone" for the efforts in space activities for the countries. Zimbabwe's ZimSat-1 and Uganda's PearlAfricaSat-1 are part of the BIRDS-5 constellation, which is now on its way to the International Space Station, according to the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER). The satellites, launched into space Monday, are scheduled to be released from the Japanese Kibo module on November 21 this year, UN-SPIDER added. Read more: Bangabandhu satellite-1 to be used to restore telecommunication in flood-hit areasOnce in orbit, the two satellites will collect images to help Zimbabwe and Uganda with mineral exploration, monitoring of environmental hazards and droughts, human settlement and disease outbreak mapping, and other potential fields of applications. A project run by Japan's Graduate School of Engineering at the Kyushu Institute of Technology, BIRDS-5 is a constellation of CubeSats.
A small passenger plane crashed Sunday morning into Lake Victoria on approach to an airport in Tanzania, and the country’s prime minister says 19 people on board were killed. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa gave the new death toll, up from three. Earlier, local authorities said 26 of those on the Precision Air flight from the coastal city of Dar es Salaam were rescued and taken to a hospital. It was not clear if any of those who were rescued died at the hospital. Photos showed the plane, which was headed to Bukoba Airport, mostly submerged in the lake. Precision Air is a Tanzanian airline company. Read more: 2 pilots die as Russian warplane falls on building in Siberia “We have managed to save quite a number of people,” Kagera province police commander William Mwampaghale told journalists.
Somalia’s president says at least 100 people were killed in Saturday’s two car bombings at a busy junction in the capital and the toll could rise. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a statement at the site of the explosions told journalists early Sunday that nearly 300 other people were wounded. It was the deadliest attack in Somalia since a truck bombing at the same spot in October 2017 killed more than 500 people. Somalia’s government has blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group, which often targets the capital. The group doesn’t make claims of responsibility when large numbers of civilians are killed. Somalia’s president, elected this year, said the country remained at war with al-Shabab “and we are winning.” The government, along with militia groups, has been engaged in a new offensive against the extremists who hold large parts of the country.
Two car bombs exploded Saturday at a busy junction in Somalia's capital near key government offices, causing “scores of civilian casualties" including children, national police said. One hospital worker counted at least 30 bodies amid fears of possibly many more. The attack in Mogadishu occurred on a day when the president, prime minister and other senior officials were meeting to discuss expanded efforts to combat violent extremism, especially by the al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab group that often targets the capital. It also came five years after another massive blast in the exact same location killed over 500 people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Al-Shabab rarely claims attacks with large numbers of civilians killed, as in the 2017 blast. But President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud blamed al-Shabab by name, calling the attack “cruel and cowardly.” A volunteer at the Medina hospital, Hassan Osman, said “out of the total of at least 30 dead people brought to the hospital, the majority of them are women. I have seen this with my own eyes.” At the hospital and elsewhere, frantic relatives peeked under plastic sheeting and into body bags, looking for loved ones. The Aamin ambulance service said they had collected at least 35 wounded. One ambulance responding to the first attack was destroyed by the second blast, director Abdulkadir Adan added in a tweet. “I was 100 meters away when the second blast occurred,” witness Abdirazak Hassan said. “I couldn't count the bodies on the ground due to the (number of) fatalities.” He said the first blast hit the perimeter wall of the education ministry, where street vendors and money changers were located. An Associated Press journalist at the scene said the second blast occurred in front of a busy restaurant during lunchtime. The blasts demolished tuk-tuks and other vehicles in an area of many restaurants and hotels. He saw “many” bodies and said they appeared to be civilians traveling on public transport. The Somali Journalists Syndicate, citing colleagues and police, said one journalist was killed and two others wounded by the second blast while rushing to the scene of the first. The attack occurred at Zobe junction, which was the scene of a huge al-Shabab truck bombing in 2017 that killed more than 500 people. Somalia’s government has been engaged in a high-profile new offensive against the extremist group that the United States has described as one of al-Qaida’s deadliest organizations. The president has described it as “total war" against the extremists, who control large parts of central and southern Somalia and have been the target of scores of U.S. airstrikes in recent years. The extremists have responded by killing prominent clan leaders in an apparent effort to dissuade support for that government offensive. On Saturday, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said the attack would not dampen the public uprising against al-Shabab, and he and the president expressed the government's determination to wipe out the extremist group.
Two car bombs exploded Saturday at a busy junction in Somalia’s capital near key government offices, leaving “scores of civilian casualties” including children, national police said. One hospital worker counted at least 30 bodies. The attack in Mogadishu occurred on a day when the president, prime minister and other senior officials were meeting to discuss combating violent extremism, especially by the al-Qaida-affiliated al-Shabab group that often targets the capital. It also came five years after another massive blast in the exact same location killed over 500 people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Al-Shabab rarely claims attacks with large numbers of civilians killed, as in the 2017 blast. But Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre blamed al-Shabab by name. A volunteer at the Medina hospital, Hassan Osman, said “out of the total of at least 30 dead people brought to the hospital, the majority of them are women. I have seen this with my own eyes.” At the hospital, frantic relatives peeked under plastic sheeting and into body bags, looking for loved ones. The Aamin ambulance service said they had collected at least 35 wounded. One ambulance responding to the first attack was destroyed by the second blast, director Abdulkadir Adan added in a tweet. “I was 100 meters away when the second blast occurred,” witness Abdirazak Hassan said. “I couldn’t count the bodies on the ground due to the (number of) fatalities.” He said the first blast hit the perimeter wall of the education ministry, where street vendors and money changers were located. An Associated Press journalist at the scene said the second blast occurred in front of a busy restaurant during lunchtime. The blasts demolished tuk-tuks and other vehicles in an area of many restaurants and hotels. He saw “many” bodies and said they appeared to be civilians traveling on public transport. The Somali Journalists Syndicate, citing colleagues and police, said one journalist was killed and two others wounded by the second blast while rushing to the scene of the first. The attack occurred at Zobe junction, which was the scene of a huge al-Shabab truck bombing in 2017 that killed more than 500 people. Somalia’s government has been engaged in a high-profile new offensive against the extremist group that the United States has described as one of al-Qaida’s deadliest organizations. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has described it as “total war” against the extremists, who control large parts of central and southern Somalia and have been the target of scores of U.S. airstrikes in recent years. The extremists have responded by killing prominent clan leaders in an apparent effort to dissuade support for that government offensive. On Saturday, the prime minister said the attack would not dampen the public uprising against al-Shabab and again expressed the government’s determination to wipe out the extremist group.
Chadian security forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in the country’s two largest cities Thursday killing at least 60 people, the government spokesman and a morgue official said. Authorities imposed a curfew after the violence, which came amid demonstrations in the central African nation against interim leader Mahamat Idriss Deby’s two-year extension of power. Chadian government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh said 30 people were dead in the capital, N’Djamena. Organizers of the march, though, placed the toll higher, at 40. Another 32 protesters were killed in Chad’s second-largest city, Moundou, according to an official in the city’s morgue. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, said more than 60 people were wounded. Other protests were held in the towns of Doba and Sarh. Read: 15 killed, 50 injured in anti-UN protests in Congo’s east These were the deadliest anti-government protests since Deby took over last year in the wake of his father’s assassination after more than three decades in power. Officials said the late President Idriss Deby Itno was killed by rebels while visiting Chadian troops on the battlefield in the country’s north in April 2021. At the main reference hospital in N’Djamena, overwhelmed doctors tended to scores of people with gunshot wounds. Some of the wounded were taken to Liberty Hospital by army vehicles and bore signs of having been tortured, witnesses said. Witnesses say demonstrators began to blow whistles at 3 a.m. all over the capital of N’Djamena. Police fired tear gas at the crowds but the demonstrators continued advancing and their numbers grew. It was then that security forces opened fire, leaving protesters struggling to gather the dead from the scene amid the tear gas. Among those killed was a Chadian journalist, Narcisse Oredje, who worked for CEFOD radio and was struck by a bullet.
The United Nations says “famine is at the door” in Somalia with “concrete indications” famine will occur later this year in the southern Bay region. This falls just short of a formal famine declaration in Somalia as thousands are dying in a historic drought made worse by the effects of the war in Ukraine. U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths told reporters that he was “shocked to my core these past few days” on a visit to Somalia in which he witnessed starving babies too weak to cry. A formal famine declaration is rare and a warning that too little help has come too late. At least 1 million people in Somalia have been displaced by the worst drought in decades, driven by climate change, that also affects the wider Horn of Africa including Ethiopia and Kenya. Famine is the extreme lack of food and a significant death rate from outright starvation or malnutrition combined with diseases like cholera. A declaration means data shows more than a fifth of households have extreme food gaps, more than 30% of children are acutely malnourished and over two people out of 10,000 are dying every day. Also read: UN warns 6 million Afghans at risk of famine as crises grow Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been described as a disaster for Somalia, which has suffered from a shortage of humanitarian aid as international donors focus on Europe. Somalia also sourced at least 90% of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine before the war and has been hit hard by scarcity and the sharp rise in food prices. “Ukraine has occupied the narrative,” Griffiths said. Hungry families in Somalia have been staggering for days or weeks on foot through parched terrain in search of assistance. Many bury family members along the way. Even when they reach camps outside urban areas, they find little or no help. At one camp outside the capital, Mogadishu, Fadumo Abdi Aliyow showed The Associated Press the graves of her two small sons next to their makeshift home. Disease had overwhelmed their weakened bodies. One was 4. The other was eight months old. Also read: Ukraine's ports must be reopened to avert looming famine threat: UN “I wanted to die before them so they could bury me,” Aliyow said. Another resident of the camp of 1,800 families, Samey Adan Mohamed, said the last meal she and her eight children had was rice a day ago. Today they had only tea. Camps like theirs are ringed by death, bringing aid workers to tears. “I couldn’t get out of my head the tiny mounds of ground marking children’s graves,” UNICEF’s deputy regional director Rania Dagash said last week. “I’m from this region and I’ve never seen it so bad.” A formal famine declaration would bring desperately needed funding. But “tragically, by the time a famine is declared, it’s already too late,” the U.N. World Food Program has said. When famine was declared in parts of Somalia in 2011, the deaths of a quarter-million people were well underway. “This is not a repeat of the 2011 famine. It is much worse,” the U.N. humanitarian agency said last week. So far, at least 730 children have died in nutrition centers across Somalia, it said, and more than 213,000 people are at “imminent risk” of dying. “You feel like you’re looking at the face of death,” Mercy Corps CEO Tjada McKenna told the AP after visiting the badly hit city of Baidoa. There is not enough therapeutic food to treat the acutely malnourished, said McKenna, who saw many young children and pregnant women. “For every one person I saw, imagine all the people who couldn’t get that far. And so many people were arriving each day.” At the same time, aid funding has dropped more than 60% from the response to Somalia’s previous drought in 2017, USAID administrator Samantha Power said last week, noting a “degree of despair and devastation” not seen before in her career. The Horn of Africa region has seen four straight failed rainy seasons for the first time in well over four decades. The upcoming rainy season is also expected to fail. That endangers an estimated 20 million people in one of the world’s most impoverished and turbulent regions. “Sadly, our models show with a high degree of confidence that we are entering the fifth consecutive failed rainy season,” the director of the regional climate prediction center, Guleid Artan, has said. “In Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, we are on the brink of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.” The rainfall in this year’s failed March-to-May season was the lowest in the last six decades, Artan told the AP. Next year’s March-to-May season doesn’t look good either, he said, worrying that “this could be the seven-year drought, the biblical one.” Formal famine declarations are rare because data to meet the benchmarks often cannot be obtained because of conflict, poor infrastructure or politics. Governments can be wary of being associated with a term of such grim magnitude. Somalia's recently elected president, however, appointed a drought envoy in one of his first acts in office, which Griffiths called “impressive.” Because of the remote nature of Somalia’s drought, and with some hard-hit areas under the control of the al-Shabab extremist group which has been hostile to humanitarian efforts, no one knows how many people have died — or will in the months to come. Hundreds of calls from across Somalia, including from al-Shabab-controlled areas, come in daily to the Somali-run Radio Ergo. Some say no aid is available in camps. Others say water sources have run dry or lament the loss of millions of livestock that are the foundation of their health and wealth. “People don’t cry because they want their voice to be heard,” radio editor Leyla Mohamed told the AP. “But you can feel they are hurting, that they feel more than we can hear.”
Deadly clashes broke out Saturday in Libya's capital between militias backed by its two rival administrations, portending a return to violence amid a long political stalemate. At least 23 people were killed and 140 more wounded, the Health Ministry said. It added that 64 families were evacuated from areas around the fighting. The escalation threatens to shatter the relative calm Libya has enjoyed for most of the past two years. The oil-rich nation plunged into chaos following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Among the fatalities was Mustafa Baraka, a comedian known for his social media videos mocking militias and corruption. Baraka died after he was shot in his chest, said Malek Merset, an emergency services spokesman. Merset said emergency services were still trying to evacuate wounded and civilians trapped in the fighting that erupted overnight and continued into Saturday evening. The Health Ministry said in a statement hospitals and medical centers in the capital were shelled, and ambulance teams were barred from evacuating civilians, in acts that “amount to war crimes.” The municipal council of Tripoli blamed the ruling political class for the deteriorating situation in the capital, and urged the international community to “protect civilians in Libya.” The violence caused widespread panic among Tripoli residents. Footage circulated online showed houses, government facilities, and vehicles apparently damaged from the fighting. Other footage showed militia forces deploying and heavy fire being exchanged across the night sky. The U.N. mission in Libya said the fighting involved “indiscriminate medium and heavy shelling in civilian-populated neighborhoods” of Tripoli. Read: 26 Bangladeshis killed in Libya gun attack The mission called for an immediate cease-fire, and for all parties in Libya to “refrain from using any form of hate speech and incitement to violence.” The clashes pitted the Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade militia, led by Haitham Tajouri, against another militia allied with Abdel-Ghani al-Kikli, an infamous warlord known as “Gheniwa,” according to local media. Later on Saturday, more militias joined the fighting which spread in different areas in the capital. Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah’s government, which is based in Tripoli, claimed the clashes broke out when one militia fired at another. The fighting, however, is highly likely part of ongoing power struggle between Dbeibah and his rival Prime Minister Fathy Bashagha who is operating from the coast city of Sirte. Both Dbeibah and Bashagha are backed by militias, and the latter was mobilizing in recent weeks to try to enter Tripoli to dislodge his rival. An attempt in May by Bashagha to install his government in Tripoli triggered clashes that ended with his withdrawal from the capital. U.S. Ambassador to Libya Richard Norland urged for de-escalation “before things get worse” and for Libyan parties to agree on an early date for elections.
Somali authorities on Sunday ended a deadly attack in which at least 20 people were killed and many others wounded when gunmen stormed a hotel in the capital. It took Somali forces more than 30 hours to contain the fighters who had stormed Mogadishu's Hayat Hotel on Friday evening in an assault that started with loud explosions. The siege ended around midnight, police commissioner Abdi Hassan Hijar told reporters. “During the attack, the security forces rescued many civilians trapped in the hotel, including women and children," he said. Police are yet to give a detailed explanation of how the attack unfolded. It remains unclear how many gunmen entered the hotel. Read: Market blast in north Syria kills 15 people, wounds dozens Ismail Abdi, the hotel's manager, told The Associated Press that security forces were still working to clear the area. No more gunfire could be heard after 9 a.m. local time. Onlookers gathered outside the gates of the badly damaged hotel on Sunday morning, surveying the scene. The Islamic extremist group al-Shabab, which has ties with al-Qaida, claimed responsibility for the attack, the latest of its frequent attempts to strike places visited by government officials. The attack on the hotel is the first major terror incident in Mogadishu since Somalia’s new leader, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, took over in May. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack, according to a spokesman's statement that said the U.N. supports the people of Somalia ”in their fight against terrorism and their march towards peace.”