A truck exploded in a huge fireball killing at least 15 people on Tuesday in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the latest attack in a city repeatedly hit by Boko Haram Islamists. The bomb rocked Maiduguri's largest roundabout near the crowded Monday Market where elderly women line the road selling peanuts and kola nuts as snacks to morning commuters. An AFP reporter said elderly women and poor children who beg at the roundabout were among the casualties. While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, blame was likely to fall on Boko Haram, which was founded in Maiduguri more than a decade ago and has killed thousands during a five-year uprising.
Six members of the Tunisian security forces were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded Tuesday in the mountainous Kef region near the Algerian border, the interior ministry said. "A roadside bomb exploded as a military vehicle passed by, wounding four soldiers and two members of the National Guard," it said. At the time, the security forces were combing the mountains in the provinces of Kef and neighbouring Jendouba "where the remnants of a terrorist group is holed up," the ministry added. Since late 2012, security forces have been battling jihadists hiding out in the remote western region.
Sudanese state security agents have arrested seven more members of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party, following its leader's detention last month, a senior party official said on Tuesday. "One of our members was arrested early today in Khartoum," the party's secretary general Abdelqayum Awad told AFP. The top leader of Sudanese Congress, Ibrahim al-Sheikh, was arrested at his home in En Nahud on June 8. The RSF have denied accusations that they attacked villages in Sudan's Darfur region.
The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday upheld France's controversial burqa ban, rejecting arguments that outlawing full-face veils breaches religious freedom. Two of the 17 judges who spent several months deliberating on the case dissented from the majority view that the ban did not breach the European Convention on Human Rights' provisions protecting the freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The university graduate, who has family in Birmingham, England, had requested anonymity for fear of reprisals in France over her action.
Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks in the capital Mogadishu and warned that violence will intensify during Islam’s holy month of Ramadan. "Mujahedeen fighters carried out operations inside Mogadishu killing several of the apostate government soldiers," Shebab spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab told AFP on Tuesday. Five blasts were reported on Monday, including a roadside bomb that killed at least two people when it ripped through a market busy with shoppers buying food to celebrate the breaking of the Ramadan fast with their families at sunset. A car bomb later killed a government official, while three other blasts at checkpoints killed at least one soldier.
Iraq's Kurds will hold an independence referendum within months, their leader Massud Barzani said on Tuesday, as the region reels under a brutal offensive by Sunni jihadists who have declared an Islamic caliphate. Barzani said the time was right for a vote as Iraq was already effectively partitioned following the lightning gains by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS), formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Asked whether the vote would take place soon, Barzani added: "I can't fix a date right now but definitely it's a question of months.
By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday he would take executive action to revamp the U.S. immigration system and move additional resources to protect the border after hopes of passing broad reform legislation in Congress officially died. Republican John Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives, told Obama last week that his chamber would not vote on immigration reform this year, killing chances that a wide-ranging bill passed by the Senate would become law. The collapse of the legislative process delivers another in a series of blows to Obama's domestic policy agenda and comes as he struggles to deal with a flood of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have entered the United States. Obama chided Republicans for refusing to bring immigration reform to a vote and said only legislation could provide a permanent fix to the problem.
Unemployment in Germany stagnated in June as clouds begin to appear on the horizon of Europe's biggest economy and favourable statistical effects from mild weather wear off, official data showed on Tuesday. The unemployment rate stood at 6.7 percent in seasonally adjusted terms in June, unchanged from May, while the number of people registered as unemployed rose by 9,000, the Federal Labour Office said in a statement. "Unemployment did not rise in the winter because of mild weather, so the usual decline in June was shallower than expected," the office explained.
Carrying banners and chanting slogans, thousands of protesters gathered Tuesday for a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong that organisers say could be the largest since the city was handed back to China. The rally reflects surging discontent over Beijing's insistence that it vet candidates before a vote in 2017 for the semi-autonomous city's next leader. The poll has irked Beijing, which branded it "illegal and invalid" despite the unexpectedly high turnout. "Hong Kong is turning into a place with less and less freedom," Eric Wong, a 24-year-old photographer who took part in the rally, told AFP.