Somalis, raiders die in capital attack
MOGADISHU, Somalia — At least nine people were killed in an attack on Somalia’s Interior Ministry and security forces killed all three attackers after a two-hour battle inside, police said Saturday, as the al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility. A number of people, mostly government workers, were trapped in the ministry on what had been a normal business day. Witnesses said some staff members died or were injured by leaping from windows or walls in an effort to escape. At least 13 people were wounded, paramedic Mohamed Adam said. The morning attack began when a suicide car bomber detonated at the gates of the ministry compound, which is close to the presidential palace and Parliament headquarters and also holds the Security Ministry, police Capt. Mohamed Hussein said. Dozens of people eventually were rescued in the operation, Hussein said. The Somalia-based al-Shabab, an arm of al-Qaida, often targets high-profile areas of the capital, Mogadishu. The group was blamed for the October truck bombing that killed more than 500 people.
Crowds protest Trump’s visit to NATO
BRUSSELS — European activists protested Saturday against U.S. President Donald Trump’s upcoming appearance at NATO, marching through Belgium’s capital to plead for less military spending and more public money for schools and clean energy. The “Trump Not Welcome” march and a companion concert came as European and North American leaders prepare for an annual summit at NATO’s Brussels headquarters. Trump accuses NATO allies of not doing enough to defend themselves and is demanding that they increase their military budgets. The protest organizers oppose more military spending, and attracted a high-spirited, diverse crowd of thousands that wended through central Brussels while demonstrating on behalf of multiple causes during the peaceful march. Some campaigned for keeping migrant families together or stopping austerity plans that hurt the poor; for the closure of coal and nuclear plants; or for an end to racial and gender-related intolerance. The U.S. president is heading for Europe as his protectionist trade policies and withdrawal from the Paris climate accord have angered some of the leaders he will see at the NATO summit on Wednesday and Thursday.
Afghanistan ambush kills U.S. soldier
One U.S. service member was killed and two were wounded Saturday in an apparent insider attack in Afghanistan, according to the U.S.-led military coalition. The ambush occurred in southern Afghanistan, U.S. military officials said in a statement without being more specific. The two wounded Americans were in stable condition, the statement added. U.S. military officials at the top U.S. military headquarters in Kabul could not immediately be reached for additional comment. The Taliban released a statement praising an Afghan soldier for carrying out the attack, without taking credit for it themselves. The statement and an Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the attack occurred in Uruzgan province. Insider attacks by Afghan security forces on coalition troops working alongside them were common in Afghanistan several years ago.
Deaths at 48 in Japan’s relentless rains
TOKYO — Heavy rainfall hammered southern Japan for the third day today, prompting new disaster warnings on Kyushu and Shikoku islands , as the government put the death toll at 48 with 28 others presumed dead. Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the whereabouts of 92 people are unknown, mostly in the southern area of Hiroshima prefecture. More than 100 reports of casualties had been received, such as cars being swept away, he said. Some 40 helicopters were carrying out rescue missions. More than 1 million people in 18 districts had been ordered to evacuate, and an additional 3½ million had been urged to leave. The Japan Meteorological Agency reported Saturday that rainfall in many of the affected areas had reached record levels — with some areas reporting rain two or three times as much as the monthly average for July in just five days. “Rescue efforts are a battle with time,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters. “The rescue teams are doing their utmost.” Forecasters said three hours of rainfall in one area in Kochi prefecture reached an accumulated 10.4 inches, the highest since such records started in 1976.