News / Africa

    Somalia President Survives Attack

    Somali government soldiers open fire during ambush by al-Shabaab rebels on the outskirts of Elasha town, May 29, 2012.
    Somali government soldiers open fire during ambush by al-Shabaab rebels on the outskirts of Elasha town, May 29, 2012.
    VOA News
    Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed survived an assassination attempt Tuesday by Islamist militants.

    Gunmen opened fire on the president's armored convoy in the Alamada area, about 15 kilometers west of the capital, Mogadishu.  He was returning from a visit to the town of Afgoye, which African Union and Somali troops had liberated from the al-Shabab group Monday.

    Seynab Abukar, a reporter for the VOA Somali Service who traveled with the convoy, says the president was unharmed, but a bodyguard was killed and seven other people were wounded.

    "The attack happened between Alamada and Elasha Biyaha when the convoy of President Sheikh Ahmed was ambushed along with his delegation including the acting prime minister, interior minister and military commanders form AMISOM and Somali forces as well as parliamentarians. It happened at the same place where he stopped by on his way to Afgoye earlier in the morning, where he spoke to the people in the area, asked them about their situation, if they had problems with the government’s troops…and asked them to open the shops," Abukar said. "On the way back, we suddenly we heard gunshots as we drove on the road.  The government troops and AMISOM forces dismounted from the vehicles and took positions, and there was exchange of heavy and small gunfire.  The convoy drove through as the fighting continued.  The death of one soldier is confirmed and seven others were wounded. A member of the president’s delegation, Mohamed Hussein Awliyo, was also wounded. "

    Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.  Authorities say they have arrested four suspects.

    Abukar says the presidential convoy reached Afgoye safely for the first time after six years.

    The reporter says the president toured Afgoye bridge, the police station and the district offices.  He also visited Sheikh Zaid Farmhouse where he had spoken as the leader of the Islamic courts in 2006."

    Also Tuesday, Kenyan warships fired on Port Kismayo, the militants' largest remaining stronghold in Somalia.

    Kenyan military spokesman Cyrus Oguna said that warships opened fire after being attacked by al-Shabab fighters on shore.  Oguna said this is the first time Kenya's military has engaged in combat in Kismayo.

    Witnesses told VOA's Somali Service that two warships began firing at Kismayo overnight Tuesday.  The attack continued after sunrise, with one shell hitting a house and wounding a child.

    Al-Shabab once controlled most of southern and central Somalia, but has steadily lost ground in an offensive by AU, Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces.

    Reports from southern Somalia on Monday indicated that al-Shabab leaders were mobilizing fighters in Kismayo and other locations.

    Al-Shabab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's transitional government and impose a strict form of Islamic law.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora