ICRC Suspends Operations in Afghanistan After Deadly Attack

Yet another tragic attack on humanitarian workers. “Suspected ISIL fighters killed at least six Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were carrying supplies to areas hit by deadly snow storms, according to government officials. Another two employees were unaccounted for after Wednesday’s attack in the northern Jowzjan province, said ICRC spokesperson  Thomas Glass, adding that the group did not know who was responsible for the attack… ICRC put its activities in the country on hold following the attack, the group’s global operations head Dominik Stillhart said, “because we need to understand what exactly happened before we can hopefully resume our operations”. Lotfullah Azizi, Jowzjan’s governor, told Reuters news agency the aid workers were in a convoy that was carrying supplies to areas hit by avalanches when they were targeted by fighters belonging to ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.” (AL Jazeera  http://bit.ly/2knpNRP)

American becomes president of Somalia…”Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a dual U.S.-Somali citizen and former prime minister, was sworn in as Somalia’s new president on Wednesday after lawmakers voted behind the secure blast walls of the capital’s airport. Celebratory gunfire erupted across Mogadishu at his victory, after a security lock-down in the seaside city aimed at deterring attacks by the al Shabaab Islamist group which had threatened to derail the Western-backed election process. “President Farmajo,” residents shouted in the streets, using his popular nickname “Farmajo” which was used during the vote count. Many Somalis are best known by their nicknames.” (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2k3KlCE)

Yemen Bans US Forces… “Angry at the civilian casualties incurred last month in the first commando raid authorized by President Trump, Yemen has withdrawn permission for the United States to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorist groups in the country, according to American officials. Grisly photographs of children apparently killed in the crossfire of a 50-minute firefight during the raid caused outrage in Yemen. A member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, Chief Petty Officer William Owens, was also killed in the operation. While the White House continues to insist that the attack was a “success” — a characterization it repeated on Tuesday — the suspension of commando operations is a setback for Mr. Trump, who has made it clear he plans to take a far more aggressive approach against Islamic militants.”  (NYT http://nyti.ms/2knio4L)

Drug Resistant Malaria Found in Europe. How Worried Should We Be? (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2k469cE)