Top of the Morning: UNHCR Attacked in Kandahar; Somali IDPs Killed in Kenyan Air Strike; World Population Hits 7 Billion

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UNHCR Hit by Suicide Attack in Kandahar

In the latest in a string of attacks against international targets, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive- laden car at a check point to a neighborhood in Kandahar that houses several international NGOs and the UN Refugee Agency. Other attackers then stormed a building housing International Relief and Development. A two hour battle ensued before the attackers were subdued. At least four people were killed in the attack, including 3 UNHCR employees. “The blast caused extensive damage to the offices of the U.N.’s refugee agency, the UNHCR. Associated Press video footage showed large chunks of the building’s outer walls blown out, as well as the windows. The street around the building was strewn with rubble. The insurgents then managed to enter the IRD’s office through the UNHCR building, [a government spokesperson said.]. The Taliban, for whom Kandahar is a traditional stronghold, claimed responsibility for the attack. Spokesman Qari Yousef saying the insurgents were targeting what he claimed was a guest house affiliated with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. While UNAMA does not operate a guest house in the area, the clinic and IRD offices entered by the attackers are, however, near guest houses affiliated with both the IRD and the UNHCR. The are is also home to several other international NGO offices and guest houses. Earlier reports said three security guards in the area were killed, but Mohammad Faisal, an official with the Kandahar provincial media office, said three civilians and one policeman were killed. Three civilians and a Nepalese guard were also wounded, said Faisal.” (USA Today

Kenyan Jets Strike a Refugee Camp in Somalia

Kenyan jets bombarded the Somali town of Jilib on Sunday. The Kenyan military claims to have killed at least 10 al Shabaab militants in the operation. But it would also appear that at least one air strike hit a camp in which MSF was providing care to some 1500 IDPs. “An airstrike hit a camp for people displaced by Somalia’s humanitarian crisis Sunday, leaving three dead and dozens of people injured, the aid group Doctors Without Borders reported. The camp was hit during an aerial bombardment on the southern Somali town of Jilib early Sunday afternoon, the medical relief agency said in a written statement. Most of the 52 wounded its staff treated were women and children, the group said. The group did not identify the source of the attack, but urged ‘all parties to the conflict in Somalia to respect the rights of civilians in conflict.’ (CNN

Is it Just Me, Or is it Getting Kinda Crowded in Here?

Today is the day that the world’s population is projected to reach 7 billion. Oh the humanity. “It took only a dozen years for humanity to add another billion people to the planet, reaching the milestone of 7 billion Monday — give or take a few months. Demographers at the United Nations Population Division set Oct. 31, 2011, as the ‘symbolic’ date for hitting 7 billion, while acknowledging that it’s impossible to know for sure the specific time or day…The U.N.’s best estimate is that population will march past 9.3 billion by 2050 and exceed 10.1 billion by the end of the century. It could be far more, if birthrates do not continue to drop as they have in the last half-century. Nearly all the projected growth this century is expected to occur in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, while the combined populations in Europe, North America and other wealthy industrialized nations will remain relatively flat. Some countries, such as Germany, Russia and Japan, are poised to edge downward, their loss made up mostly by ongoing growth in the United States, which is bolstered by waves of immigrants.” (LAT