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SITREP

Somalia: Drone Strike Kills High-Ranking Militants

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A1C Jeffery Allen/DefenseImagery.mil/Wikimedia Commons // an aerial view of the Somali village of Bardera.VOA News — A drone strike in southern Somalia has killed 30 members of the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab, including several top leaders, Kenyan officials said Thursday.

The U.S. military has not commented on media reports that a U.S. drone carried out the attack late Wednesday near the town of Bardere in the Gedo region. The slain al-Shabab leaders included Jama Dere and Ismael Jabhad, said Mwanda Njoka, spokesman for Kenya’s ministry of interior and coordination of national government.

A local journalist tells VOA Dere was the deputy commander of al-Shabab fighters in the Lower Jubba region, and Jabhad was a senior military official.

Lebanon: 5 Czechs, Lebanese Driver Missing in Beqaa Valley

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AFP/Getty Images/File // Lebanese army soldiers drive to the entrance of the town of Arsal in the Bekaa valley.The Associated Press — A Lebanese official says authorities are searching for five Czech nationals and their Lebanese driver who have gone missing in eastern Lebanon.

The police official says their car was found Saturday a few hundred meters (yards) away from a Lebanese army checkpoint in the town of Kefraya. A suitcase found in the car contained their passports and some money in Lebanese lira and euros.

The father of the Lebanese taxi driver reported his son missing Saturday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to brief journalists, said it was too early to say whether they might have been abducted. Kidnapping for ransom cases have been on the rise lately, particularly in eastern Lebanon, which is close to the border with Syria.

Saudi Arabia: Car Explodes Near High-Security Prison

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Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser // A general view of Ha'er Prison in Saudi Arabia July 6, 2015.Reuters — A car bomb exploded at a checkpoint near Saudi Arabia's highest security prison at sunset on Thursday, killing the driver and wounding two security officials, the interior ministry said.

State television said the driver was a teenager on the run after killing his uncle. He triggered the blast after officers surrounded his vehicle south of the capital, Riyadh. The use of an explosive so close to a prison holding hundreds of Islamist detainees will stoke fears of a growing threat of militancy in the world's top oil exporter.

State news agency SPA named the bomber as Abdullah Fahd Abdullah al-Rashed. It said he was born in 1997 and had never travelled outside of the kingdom.

Niger: Boko Haram Militants Kill a Dozen Villagers

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Reuters // Police officers stand over a victim at the site of a suicide bombing in N'Djamena, Chad.Reuters — Suspected Nigerian Boko Haram insurgents killed at least a dozen villagers and wounded several others in an attack in southeastern Niger on Wednesday night, security sources said.

The attack on Gamgara, near the town of Bosso some 1,500 km (930 miles) east of the capital Niamey, follows a spate of attacks by the resurgent Islamist group whose six-year-old insurgency has killed thousands in the Lake Chad region.

The assailants left their vehicles in the outskirts of the village and came on foot. They killed at least a dozen civilians before leaving, one security source told Reuters. Boko Haram insurgents who are fighting to carve out an Islamist emirate in northeast Nigeria have stepped up attacks including raids and suicide bombings in Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria in recent weeks.

USA: 4 Marines and Gunman Killed in Tennessee Shootings

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John Bazemore/AP  // Police officers enter the Armed Forces Career Center through a door riddled with bullet holes after a gunman opened fire on the building in Chattanooga, Tenn.Rich McKay (Reuters) — Four Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism.

The FBI named the suspect as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, but said it was too early to speculate on a motive for the rampage, which comes at a time when U.S. military and law enforcement authorities are increasingly concerned about the threat posed by "lone wolves" to domestic targets.

"We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism," Bill Killian, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, said earlier, adding that no official determination of the nature of the crime had yet been made and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has not ruled anything out.

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