Rabat – At least 13 people were killed in an attack this morning by al-Shabab at the African Union (AU) base near the airport in Mogadishu.Two vehicles carrying explosives detonated near an entrance to the AU base and at a checkpoint close to the base staffed by Somali forces.Al-Shabab’s spokesman told al-Jazeera that the terrorist organization had carried out the attack to kill “occupying” foreign forces. In a press release from AMISOM this afternoon, AU Special Representative for Somalia Francisco Caetano Madeira praised the quick response of Somali and AMISOM forces that “prevented the vehicles from proceeding further and thereby thwarted the attack.”The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), established in 2007, aims to stabilize the country and combat al-Shabab. Authorized by the United Nations, the mission employs soldiers from across the African Union.United Nations efforts to bring peace to Somalia have been largely unsuccessful since the 1990s. AMISOM has faced considerable obstacles and incurred large numbers of casualties while attempting to stabilize the country.This attack follows two other deadly attacks by al-Shabab in Somalia this summer alone.AMISOM condemned the bombing on Twitter this morning as a “senseless attack that aims to disrupt and cripple the lives of ordinary Somalis. These attacks must be stopped.”
“UNMIK (UN Mission in Kosovo) strongly condemns the recent violence against figures involved in the election process,” a spokesperson said, adding that while the nature of their cause is still being investigated, “such attacks must be condemned by all.” The democratic process demands an environment free of violence and intimidation, the Mission stressed. “Any attempts to influence political developments by these means will fail, and only discredit those who might encourage or engage in such behaviour to forward a particular viewpoint,” it underscored. The polls are due to open tomorrow morning in Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008 following years of ethnic tensions, but which Serbia has not recognized.More than 8,000 candidates vying for positions in the city council and as mayors.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for a respect for diversity and wide participation in the elections. “Free and fair elections this Sunday will constitute a milestone in the strengthening of peace and security in Kosovo,” he said in a statement issued yesterday. Plans for the elections were part of the landmark agreement between Belgrade and Pristina initialed in Brussels under the auspices of the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton.
JON WALTERS WILL lead the line for Ireland against Germany tomorrow night, Giovanni Trapattoni has confirmed.The Stoke City striker has been named in the starting XI to face Jogi Loew’s side at the Aviva Stadium, in place of the injured Robbie Keane.John O’Shea will skipper the side. Seamus Coleman is named at right back while Keith Fahey partners Keith Andrews and James McCarthy in the centre of midfield.The full team is: Westwood; Coleman, O’Shea, O’Dea, Ward; McCarthy, Andrews, Fahey, Cox, McGeady; Walters.Ireland won’t be a pushover, insists Germany assistant