World News Brief, Tuesday November 1

Kenyan airstrike intended for Islamist militant group al-Shabaab hits refugee camp in Somalia; Philippine army attacks al-Qaeda-linked stronghold in southern island province of Sulu; Japan takes steps to slow the rise of the yen; Arab League has a plan for Syrians to end seven months of violent unrest against President Bashar al-Assad; centre-right wins election in Bulgaria; Uganda detains Opposition leader Kizza Besigye to stop him joining protest against rising fuel and food prices; and more

Top of the Agenda: Kenyan Airstrike Hits Somali Refugee Camp

A suspected Kenyan airstrike targeting the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab hit a refugee camp in southern Somalia, killing five civilians and injuring at least fifty others, according to aid organization Doctors Without Borders. While Kenya confirmed that it had launched an attack (NYT) in the area, officials insisted that they had hit a militant training camp, not a humanitarian site.

Kenya launched a military campaign in southern Somalia two weeks ago in response to cross-border kidnappings (al-Jazeera) of Western targets in Kenya by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab rebels. Suspected al-Shabaab loyalists responded with grenade attacks on civilian targets in Nairobi last week.

The Kenyan mission in Somalia comes as the United States confirmed it is operating unarmed drones out of Ethiopia (WashPost) to compile information on al-Shabaab.

Meanwhile, al-Shabaab leaders claimed that one of the two suicide bombers who blew themselves up during an attack on African Union peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu on Saturday was a US citizen (Telegraph).


This CFR Backgrounder offers a profile of the al-Shabaab Islamist militant organization based in southern Somalia.

At a recent CFR meeting, CFR's Jendayi Frazer and the International Crisis Group's EJ Hogendoorn discuss the short- and long-term challenges in East Africa for regional governments, international institutions, and US policy.

Targeted killings have become a central component of US counterterrorism operations around the globe. Despite pointed criticism over transparency and accountability issues, analysts say the controversial practice seems likely to expand in the future, explains this CFR Backgrounder.



Philippines Launches Attack on Militants

The Philippine army attacked a mountain stronghold of the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group (al-Jazeera) in the southern island province of Sulu. The commander, Umbra Jumdail, is allegedly sheltering Zulkifli bin Hir, a US-trained Malaysian engineer and one of the region's most wanted terror suspects.

This CFR Backgrounder offers a profile of al-Qaeda, the international terrorist network that the United States has singled out as the most serious threat to US security.

JAPAN: The government launched a new round of foreign exchange intervention (WSJ)--worth between $63 and $76 billion--in an effort to slow the rise of the yen, which has damaged the country's vital export sector.



Arab League offers talks to end Syrian violence

Centre-right wins in Bulgaria

Uganda detains Opposition leader


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on