Jihadists have attacked a military base where US soldiers train commandos in Somalia.
Local residents reported heavy blasts and gunfire at Baledogle airport in the southern Lower Shabelle region. The al-Shabab militant group said it had carried out the attack, using a car bomb to blast through the gates before sending its fighters inside.
Military officials say the jihadists were repulsed without breaching the perimeter fence. No casualties were reported among the Somali military.
In a statement, US Ambassador Donald Yamamoto praised the Somali military for their “alertness and swift response”. “This attack yet again demonstrates al-Shabab violently opposes progress towards peace and prosperity in Somalia,” he said.
Al-Shabab said in a statement it had launched the raid, adding: “After breaching the perimeters of the heavily fortified base, the mujahideen [holy warriors] stormed the military complex, engaging the crusaders in an intense firefight.”
The base, about 100km (60 miles) west of the capital Mogadishu, is said to house US special forces, Somali special forces and Ugandan peacekeepers. It is used as a launch site for US drones as well as being a training centre.
Separately, an Italian military convoy was hit by an explosion in Mogadishu itself, Italy’s defence ministry said. No casualties have as yet been reported in this attack.
Nigerian police say they have rescued nearly 500 people from a building in the northern city of Kaduna where they were detained and allegedly tortured.
Those held were all men and boys – some were found chained up.
Kaduna state’s police chief Ali Janga said the large house was raided following a tip-off about suspicious activity. He said it was a “house of torture” and described it as a case involving human slavery.
The detainees, not all Nigerian, said they had been tortured, sexually abused, starved and prevented from leaving – in some cases for several years.
It is not clear how they got there. Some of the children told the police that their relatives had taken them there believing the building to be a Koranic school. But the police say there is no concrete evidence to suggest that the building was ever a school.
Eight suspects have been arrested.
The police chief said the detainees – some with injuries and starved of food – were overjoyed to be freed. They were taken to a stadium in Kaduna overnight to be cared for while arrangements are made to find their families.
Nigerian authorities say the nearly 500 freed captives will be given medical and psychological examinations.
A scandal-hit police force’s catalogue of failings has been “putting the public at risk”, a watchdog has said.
Cleveland Police has been “operating without a clear plan or direction”, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services said in a report. It is the first force in England or Wales to be rated inadequate across all areas, the inspectorate said.
Recently appointed Chief Constable Richard Lewis admitted Cleveland Police was “letting people down”.
The report followed an inspection in May that led to the force being placed in special measures. Peter Newton said Cleveland Police told him officers would respond to a report about his 10-year-old son Zac being attacked by a gang of youths in Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool. It was almost two weeks ago and Mr Newton says he is still waiting.
“It’s a disgrace,” he said. “When I called the police they said they would send someone round to talk to Zac and reassure him and also go and find out who had attacked him. “He has been bullied for a while and when he went out to the park these lads gave him a good kicking and tried to strangle him. “He had a really rough time and we wanted something done, but absolutely nothing has happened.”
A disturbance involving inmates at a high-security jail has been brought under control after riot-trained officers were sent in.
Staff at HMP Long Lartin were forced to retreat from a wing when they were attacked with pool balls.
About 10 inmates were involved in Tuesday evening’s disturbance, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said.
One officer required hospital treatment after being indirectly injured, and part of the building was damaged. A specialist unit of prison officers, known as a Tornado Team, were sent to the Category A prison in an attempt to restore order.
The jail, in Worcestershire, holds some of the most dangerous offenders in the country. An MoJ spokeswoman said the disturbance had been “resolved” and further details would be provided later.