Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2018 16:16:59 +0100

Mogadishu, Nov 9, 2018 (AFP) - At least 10 people were killed Friday in blasts that occurred near a popular hotel and the police headquarters in the Somali capital Mogadishu, police said.    Twin car bombs exploded in the capital within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast a while later, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the sky, according to an AFP reporter.

The attack took place in the vicinity of the Sahafi hotel and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) police headquarters.   An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel along the main road... more than 10 people died, most of them civilians and some security guards," said police official Ibrahim Mohamed.   "I saw nine dead bodies along the road and they were civilians, some of them riding on rickshaws when the blasts occurred. Many more were wounded," witness Abdirahman Suleyman told AFP.   The exact target was not initially clear.

Mogadishu faces frequent bombings at the hands of Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate which has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed Somali government for over a decade.   The Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011.   But they still control parts of the countryside and attack government, military and civilian targets, seemingly at will, in Mogadishu and regional towns.
Date: Thu 25 Oct 2018
Source: Radio Ergo [edited]

Eleven children have died, and more than 40 others have been hospitalised in the past 5 weeks in a measles outbreak in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region.

According to Intersos, which runs the local hospital in Jowhar as well as a number of health posts in the region, dozens of families in several villages in the region have been affected by the measles outbreak since [20 Sep 2018].

The 1st measles cases were reported in Dha'afo in Mahaday district and Burane in Jowhar district.

Dr Abdirahman Ali Abdirahman, director of the Intersos hospital, confirmed the deaths of 11 children, adding that hundreds of others are highly vulnerable to death or permanent disability due to low levels of immunisation.

"The last time a vaccination campaign was carried out in these villages was 2017," Dr Abdirahman said. "The affected children were mostly those who were not brought for the vaccination because their parents do not understand the importance."

A father of 7 who lives in Dha'afo village told Radio Ergo that 3 of his children, a girl and 2 boys, were infected with measles. He had been using an herbal solution made from a local plant called Marer (_Cordia sinensis_) to treat the children.

He said the 2 boys recovered from the disease after several days, but his daughter's condition deteriorated, leading to her becoming blind. "We have been using Marer to treat the children, and the boys fully recovered, but the girl has been sick for 22 days. We later realised that the girl could not see anything, and we rushed her to the hospital, where the doctors confirmed that she had lost her sight," Jafar said.

[Another parent] who lives in Burane village 20 km [about 12.4 mi] from Jowhar town lost his 8-month-old daughter. Four of his children were infected with measles.

"I lost a girl to the disease, but the other 3 are now healthy. We don't have a dispensary in this village, and it is difficult to get any treatment if one falls sick," Adan said.

A mother who lives in Dha'afo village also lost her 4-year-old daughter. She blames the death of her daughter on the fact that she was not vaccinated. "Five of my children have contracted the disease. Four of them were immune to the disease and recovered quickly, but the daughter, who was never vaccinated, died of the disease," the bereaved mother said.
[Education of the parents is critical to teach them the importance of vaccination. If they do not appreciate its importance, they will not bring their children in to the clinics to be immunized. - ProMED Mod.LK]
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2018 19:06:34 +0200

Mogadishu, Oct 13, 2018 (AFP) - At least 16 people were killed in Somalia on Saturday in suicide bombings that targeted a restaurant and coffee shop, police said.   Suicide bombers walked into the two locations in the southwestern city of Baidoa and detonated their vests within minutes of each other, according to witnesses.

The blasts came a day before the first anniversary of a truck bombing that left more than 500 dead in Mogadishu, the worst ever attack in Somalia which was blamed on Islamist group Al-Shabaab.   "The number of the dead we have confirmed from the two blasts is 16 and nearly twenty others were wounded some of them seriously, nine people died in the second blast and seven in the first," said Abudulahi Mohamed, a police official in Baidoa.   "The targeted locations are populated by innocent civilians so that all of the victims were civilians, and the number of the dead can increase anytime because of the wounded," he added.

Mohamed Adam, another police official,  gave the same toll.   "I saw fifteen dead bodies at the hospital all of them collected from the scene of the attacks, many worried people poured into the hospital looking for their relatives" Abdi Hassan, a relative of a patient who was wounded in the blast.   Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed Somali government in Mogadishu.   The Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still control parts of the countryside and carry out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.
Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 18:09:02 +0200#

Addis Ababa, May 21, 2018 (AFP) - Flooding and strong winds caused by a tropical cyclone left at least 18 people dead and thousands homeless across two countries in the Horn of Africa, an aid agency said Monday.   Cyclone Sagar formed last week in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen's coast and made landfall on Saturday in Djibouti and Somaliland, a breakaway state in northern Somalia where the bulk of the deaths occurred.   "1,780 families fled their homes due to the storm, 16 people were reported killed, and at least 80 homes were destroyed," Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said in a statement, citing the UN's humanitarian coordinator OCHA.

The aid group added that the storm left two people dead in Djibouti's capital and flooded several neighbourhoods, affecting between 20,000 and 30,000 people.   "This is the biggest storm to hit the region in years," NRC regional director Nigel Tricks said.  The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the full extent of the damage in Somaliland remained unclear because the storm destroyed roads and communication infrastructure.

Forty fishermen who were at sea and were not warned about the storm remain unaccounted for, the body added.   Relief efforts have been hindered by deadly clashes that erupted last week in a disputed desert region between Somaliland and the semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland.   Those clashes displaced 10,000 people and "further (complicated) an already complex humanitarian picture," OCHA said in a statement on Sunday.
Date: Wed, 9 May 2018 21:44:02 +0200

Mogadishu, May 9, 2018 (AFP) - At least 11 people were killed in an explosion in a busy market in a small Somali city north of Mogadishu, a security official and witnesses said.   "Eleven people were confirmed dead and more than 10 others were wounded in the blast which we are still investigating, some of the victims have serious wounds and they are admitted at hospital," Mohamed Abdikarim, a regional security official, told AFP.     Sources  contacted by AFP did not yet know whether the blast was caused by a suicide bomber or an explosive device.

The blast occurred at the marketplace in Wanlaweyn district about 70 kilometres (around 45 miles) north of the Somali capital where Khat (narcotic leaves) is sold.   "There was chaos at the market, a number of people died and others wounded, I saw the severed dead bodies of civilians but there were also security personnel involved in the casualty," Mohamed Dahir, a witness said.   Wanlaweyn district is close to the Balidogle airbase where the US special forces have a major base.   No group has so far claimed responsibility for the blast. The Shabaab, linked to Al-Qaeda, are known to be present in the region.
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