Jul 13, 2019

Hotel attack in Somalia leaves more than 20 dead

The Medina hotel in Kismayo, Somalia July 13, a day after at least 26 people were killed and more than 50 injured in an attack claimed by Al-Shabaab militants. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

More than 25 people, including 2 Americans and at least 2 journalists, were killed in an attack on a hotel that began Friday night and lasted at least 14 hours in Kismayo, Somalia, reported BBC.

The big picture: The terror group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the strike that began when a suicide bomber who rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the gates of the Asasey Hotel. Four gunmen then stormed the building, the AP reports. Al-Shabab retreated from Kismayo in 2012, a "port [that] had been a major source of revenue for the group," says Al-Jazeera.

  • Similar attacks are "frequent" in Somalia, but Kismayo had been relatively peaceful since al-Shabab was forced out, per BBC.

Why it matters: Regional politicians and clan leaders were meeting to discuss next year's elections when the attack began on Friday night. This is "a blow to the Somalia government’s efforts to hold nationwide, one-person, one-vote elections next year," writes AP.


  • The attack lasted more than 14 hours and all attackers were killed, says AP.
  • Journalists Somali-Canadian Hodan Naleyah and Mohamed Sahal Omar were also killed, says Al-Jazeera.
  • More than 50 people were wounded.
  • Al-Shabab has ties to al-Qaeda.

Go deeper

India revokes Kashmir's special status amid crackdown

Indian paramilitary troopers stand guard at a roadblock at Maisuma locality in Srinagar, Kashmir, on Aug.4. Photo: Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

India's government said Monday it is revoking the part of the constitution that gives Indian-administered Kashmir special privileges, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: Tensions are running high in the highly militarized border region that is claimed by both India and Pakistan after the Indian government announced on Sunday night that it was imposing a lockdown, citing possible terrorist attacks by Pakistan-based militants, per Al Jazeera. The revoking of the special status would likely provoke backlash and violence in the Muslim-majority state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 5, 2019

The deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history

People watch the procession carrying the body of Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus, who was killed in the Thousand Oaks mass shooting. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A shooting at a Walmart near the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas is one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history.

The big picture: Mass shootings are becoming deadlier. The deadliest shooting 10 years ago left 16 people dead. The toll from the 2017 shooting at Las Vegas hotel is 59.

The listArrowUpdated Aug 3, 2019

NAACP passes vote unanimously calling for Trump impeachment

Rep. Rashida Tlaib spoke at the NAACP convention. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

NAACP delegates unanimously passed a vote on Tuesday calling for the impeachment of President Trump at the organization's national convention in Detroit.

Why it matters: The symbolic endorsement from the country's largest and oldest civil rights group follows Trump's recent racist attack on 4 congresswomen of color. His statements have resulted in ramped up calls for impeachment.

Go deeperArrowJul 23, 2019