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Militants raid Ethiopian base in most recent Somalia attack

Gorkha Post

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MOGADISHU — Shabaab fighters attacked an Ethiopian army base in central Somalia early Thursday in the most recent raid targeting foreign soldiers deployed as part of an African Union force in the country, rebels and local residents said.

The Al-Qaeda linked militants attacked the base in Halgan in Hiran region, the group said in a statement distributed on its Telegram messaging channel.

It claimed that fighters had killed “at least 43” Ethiopian soldiers, but this could not be verified independently.

Residents in the area close to Halgan said the attack began when a vehicle driven by a suicide bomber exploded, after which jihadist gunmen fought their way into the base.

“There was a huge blast and then heavy exchange of gunfire started,” said Osman Adan, a nearby resident.

Shabaab launched this style of “swarming” attack a year ago and have since overrun forward operating bases manned by Burundian troops in Lego in June, Ugandan troops in Janale in September and Kenyan troops in El Adde in January.

The contributing countries refuse to confirm casualty numbers but it is believed that scores of soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have been killed in each attack.

This is the first such attack on an Ethiopian outpost.

“Mujahideen fighters stormed the base and massacred many of the Ethiopians,” the Shabaab statement said.

The Shabaab was forced out of the capital Mogadishu five years ago but continues to carry out regular attacks on military, government and civilian targets in its battle to overthrow the internationally-backed administration.

AFP

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Magnitude 8.2 quake rattles Fiji

Thompson Reuters

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A massive quake of magnitude 8.2 struck in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tonga on Sunday but it was so deep that it was not expected to cause any damage, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The US Tsunami Warning Center also said the quake was too deep to cause a tsunami.

The quake was 347.7 miles (560 km) below the Earth which would have dampened the shaking at the surface.

“I would not expect any damage. People will feel it but it’s so deep that I would not expect any damage,” USGS geophysicist Jana Pursley said by telephone.

The quake was initially reported as a magnitude 8.0 and then upgraded to 8.2, a magnitude that could cause tremendous damage had it not been so deep.

The epicenter was located 167 miles (270 km) east of Levuka in Fiji and 275 miles (443 km) west of Neiafu in Tonga.

The area is located on the earthquake-prone Ring of Fire.

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