AROUND AFRICA: Libya; Somalia
USSOCOM Eyes Libya.
The head of U.S. Special Forces Command says his organization is keeping tabs on goings on in Libya, as part of an effort to keep the Islamic State (ISIS) from growing more powerful there.
“There is concern about Libya,” Army General Joseph Votel told an industry-special ops conference in Washington this week. “In order to address this threat holistically, we do have to do activities and pursue objectives that allow us to tamp down on it,” Defense One reported Thursday. He added ISIS needs to be destroyed in areas where it is not wholly grown yet “so that we can bring that area back to legitimate local control.
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Beach Front Attack.
The East African terrorist group, Al Shabab, is claiming responsibility for an attack by suicide bombers on a hotel and restaurant in the capital, Mogadishu.
A car laden with explosives rammed into the Beach View Hotel in the capital’s Lido Beach area Thursday evening (January 21) . At least four armed men rushed the hotel shooting the place up., the Al Jazeera news service reported.
Another bomb struck a nearby restaurant, where several gun also attacked. Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to Al Jazeea.
Lido Beach, on the northern edge of Mogadishu, attracts thousands of mostly young Somalis looking to relax and enjoy the beach and surf, the BBC reported.
Al Shabab, which has links to al Qaeda, has carried out similar attacks in the past, the BBC said, noting the violent extremist group was driven from the capital in 2011, but still has a presence in large areas of Souther Somalia.
The group stormed an African Union military base in Souther Somalia last week, killing dozens of soldiers from Kenya.