MOGADISHU, Somalia – Islamic insurgents posing as U.N. personnel detonated suicide car bombs in an African Union peacekeeping base Thursday to avenge a U.S. commando raid that killed an al-Qaida operative.
Witnesses and officials said the bombings and a counterstrike from the AU base killed at least 16 people, including four bombers, and wounded dozens.
A witness said there were 11 bodies at the AU base. But the AU said nine people were killed there: four suicide bombers and five officials from the Somali government and the AU peacekeeping force, including its Burundian deputy commander.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at least 30 wounded personnel were being evacuated from the country.
Al-Shabab, a powerful Islamist group, claimed responsibility and said the attack was in retaliation for the death of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, killed Monday by U.S. special forces.
Centers closed after slayings
MEXICO CITY – Authorities have closed 10 unregistered drug rehabilitation centers in Ciudad Juarez and say they are going after others they fear may serve as cover or recruiting grounds for drug trafficking gangs in the city across from El Paso, Texas.
Gunmen have slaughtered 28 people this month at two rehab centers in Ciudad Juarez in separate attacks that investigators blame on a bloody struggle between rival drug gangs.
Sergio Belmonte, the spokesman for the Ciudad Juarez mayor’s office, said there is evidence traffickers are recruiting members through unregulated rehab centers.
U.S. to share swine flu vaccine
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said the United States will share 10 percent of its swine flu vaccine supply with other nations to help fight the deadly virus’s global spread.
The White House on Thursday announced that flu vaccines to counter the virus known among scientists as H1N1 would be available through the World Health Organization. The U.S. is working with Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom to share vaccines.
Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the announcement “is one that has real relevance to the work of the United Nations and to our shared interest in promoting and sustaining global health.”