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  1. Car bombs and gunmen target Mogadishu beach restaurants
  2. LRA rebel commander Dominic Ongwen appears at the ICC
  3. Prosecutors say he gave women to fighters as sex slaves
  4. Al-Shabab used powerful bombs in AU base attack, says Kenyan army chief
  5. South Africa records slight decrease in poaching with 1,175 rhinos killed in 2015
  6. Ancient 'massacre' unearthed in Kenya
  7. Email stories and comments to - Thursday 21 January 2016

Live Reporting

By Hugo Williams and Lucy Fleming

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Scroll down for Thursday's stories

    We'll be back tomorrow

    That's all from the BBC Africa Live page today. Listen to the Africa Today podcast and keep up-to-date with the ongoing attack in Somalia and other news stories from across the continent on the BBC News website

    And we leave you with this tweet from the BBC's World Service Africa news editor:

    View more on twitter
  2. Al-Shabab 'behind ongoing Mogadishu attack'

    A Somali journalist tweets that pro al-Shabab media are saying the group is behind the ongoing beach attack: 

    An al-Shabab spokesman, Abdulaziz Abu Musab, also told the Reuters news agency that the group was behind the attack, saying the restaurant targeted was the Beach View Cafe.

  3. Somali eyewitness: 'Gunmen began shooting before bomb'

    An eyewitness at the beach in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, has been telling the BBC Somali service how the attack began earlier this evening.

    Ali Bashir Abdullahi Abdi, who is the director of the private radio station Mustakball, says he was socialising with colleagues after work on the beach.

    He has slightly different version of events from what we understood earlier.

    Gunmen on the beachside began shooting first, he says.

    People then began running towards the beach’s gates, which is on the other side of the restaurants – and as they headed towards the exit the first car bomb exploded.

    He managed to escape by climbing over a restaurant’s wall and headed to the main road.

    Mr Abdi said he saw that three people had been wounded and suspects others were killed.

    The BBC’s Ibrahim Aden in Mogadishu says the shooting at the beach is ongoing.

  4. Major power cut hits Kenya

    Many areas of Kenya have been hit by a major power cut.

    The national electricity company Kenya Power says the outage began at 16:33 local time (13:33 GMT) and is affecting the capital, Nairobi, the Coast and Mount Kenya regions.

    The BBC’s John Nene took this photo from Mombasa – where the traffic is providing the city’s only lights.

    At the moment he says he is eating and drinking the dark.

    Lights from traffic in the Mombasa, Kenya
  5. Mogadishu beach attack: Update

    Voice of America journalist tweets

  6. Ugandans follows Ongwen ICC hearing from afar

    The local community in the northern Ugandan town of Lukodi, scene of a 2004 massacre by the LRA rebels, have spent the day following proceedings at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, where LRA commander Dominic Ongwen has appeared to find out if the charges against him will proceed to trial.  

    The BBC's Catherine Byaruhanga was there: 

    Video content

    Video caption: Dominic Ongwen: Ugandans gather to watch ICC hearing

    Read the full BBC News story

  7. Footage of miraculous escape for SA police officer shot in back

    South African police have released a dramatic video which shows a Cape Town traffic officer being shot at point-blank range in the back while he tried to give a ticket to a motorist. 

    Nizaam Alexander's bullet-proof vest saved him from serious injury from the shooting, which took place in November, but has only recently been made public, South Africa's News 24 website reports. 

    Here's a series of screen grabs taken from the video, which was filmed on the officer's dash cam, which show how the attack unfolded. The attacker can be seen walking past on the left in the first frame. 

    South African police officer approaching a car
    South African police officer near a car
    South African police officer approached by gunman
    South African police officer shot

    You can watch the full video of the incident below: 

    View more on youtube

    Mr Alexander, who continued issuing the ticket after he was shot, was awarded the City of Cape Town Traffic Services Departmental Officer of the Year Award.  

  8. BreakingSecond car bomb detonates near Somali beach restaurant

    Eyewitnesses have told the BBC's Ibrahim Aden in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, that a second car bomb has detonated next to the restaurant on Lido beach about an hour after the first vehicle rammed into it and exploded (see 17:21 post).

    Our reporter says shooting is still continuing - up to five gunmen are reported to be firing on the beach.

  9. Why Somalia's Lido beach is so popular

    Some background on Mogadishu's long sandy Lido beach as reports of a serious attack come in: 

    The beach is especially popular with business people and Somalis from the diaspora who have returned home to the city. 

    During the day - especially on Fridays - hundreds of people come to swim in the surf. 

    Read Andrew Harding's piece after he visited the beach last year: Sun, surf... and grenades?

    Lido beach in Somalia in 2014

    Today's attack started after dark (see 17:21 post), when people would have been socialising at the restaurants and sitting on the beach.  

    It is not known who is behind the attack, but the Islamist militant group al-Shabab often carries out attacks in the city and has previously bombed a restaurant on the beach.

  10. BreakingGunmen open fire at Somali beach

    A car bomb has exploded and gunmen are shooting at a beach in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, the BBC's Ibrahim Aden reports from the city.

    The attack is happening at the popular Lido beach, which is lined with several restaurants.

    A vehicle rammed into the entrance of one of the restaurants, exploding at about 19:30 local time (16:30 GMT) - and up to five gunmen approached from a different direction shooting at those relaxing on the beach.

    People tend to sit out in front of the restaurants.

    Our reporter says a police operation is continuing - and there is no information about casualties.

  11. Suspected Islamic State militants attack Libyan oil port

    Libyan firefighters have been battling to put out a huge blaze after suspected Islamic State militants set fire to oil storage tanks near Libya's Ras Lanuf terminal.

    With huge columns of smoke rising from the fires, the state-run oil company has said it was facing an "environmental catastrophe". 

    ras lanuf oil fire
    ras lanuf
    ral lanuf firefighters try and put out the fire

    The British ambassador to Libya has been tweeting about the attack by so-called Islamic State, or Daesh: 

    An account which provides updates on the security situation in Libya has tweeted this analysis: 

  12. Renewed violent protests in Tunisia over jobs

    Burning tyres in Kasserine

    More clashes erupted in the Tunisian city of Kasserine between the security forces and protesters demanding jobs.

    It's the third day of tension in the area, during which it has emerged that a policeman was killed. The protests have also spread to several other towns.

    Protesters gather outside the local government office during a protest in Kasserine, Tunisia
    Image caption: Protesters gathered today outside Kasserine's local government office

    The tensions have echoes of the Arab spring uprising of 2011 that brought down the government of long-time leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, which was partly fuelled by frustration over the lack of employment.  

    Yassine Kahlaoui, a 30-year-old job seeker in Kasserine , told the Associated Press news agency:

    Quote Message: We have been waiting for things to get better for five years, and nothing has happened. We're tired of broken promises

    According to the Reuters news agency, an unemployed man tried to kill himself by jumping off a building during the protest in Kasserine - but several people came to his rescue:

    Man handing on to building in Kasserine

    In an effort to calm the situation, the government has promised to find work for 6,000 unemployed young people in Kasserine.  

  13. The Nigerian football star coaching Afghan migrants in Sweden

    Nigeria's most celebrated woman footballer has become an unlikely inspiration for Afghan asylum seekers in Sweden. 

    Former African Footballer of the year Perpetua Nkwocha, who spent the last seven years of her playing career in Sweden, has taken on a role coaching the group of youngsters, who have recently arrived in the country's far north. 

    BBC Africa's Matthew Kenyon packed his hat and gloves and made it all the way up to the town of Skelleftea, where the current temperature is -27C. 

    Luckily, they play indoors. 

    View more on youtube

    Read more about the project and Perpetua's life in Sweden.

  14. Vigil for Kenyan soldiers killed in Somalia

    Anthony Irungu

    BBC Africa, Nairobi

    Vigil for Kenyan soldiers

    Kenyans are holding a vigil in central Nairobi for the soldiers who died in Somalia last Friday.

    It is taking place at Uhuru Park in the capital and large numbers of people are carrying candles and flowers.

    It is not yet known how many died on when al-Shabab militants overran the African Union base in el-Ade (see 14:32 post).

    The militants say they killed more than a hundred Kenyan troops in the attack. 

    Vigil in Kenya for soldiers

    The organiser of today’s vigil, activist Boniface Mwangi, condemned the government for its response – and called on officials to ensure that the families whose sons are missing are notified and taken care of.

    Families of some of the soldiers who died are also in attendance.

    Vigil for Kenyan soldiers
  15. African leaders discuss future of technology on the continent

    African leaders have been discussing the importance of technology to the future of the continent in a debate hosted by broadcaster CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    The panel, which included Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Akinwumi Adesina, the head of the African Development Bank, discussed the question: How will the Fourth Industrial Revolution impact Africa? 

    "The Fourth Industrial Revolution" is a term used to refer to the process, already under way, by which technology transforms the way people live, work and relate to each other.

    Some of those in the audience were live tweeting the discussion: 

    A video of the full hour-long discussion is below:

    View more on twitter
  16. Boxing for Kenya in Mombasa

    John Nene

    BBC Africa, Mombasa

    Olympic boxing trials are taking place in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa over the next three days.

    A total of 49 boxers will fight it out - and 10 men and three women will be chosen to represent Kenya in March at the Africa Olympic trials in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

    International lightweight boxer Reba Matanda is one of hopefuls:

    Reba Matanda

    Teams from the armed forces and other regions are doing battle. Today Victor Odhiambo, a serving soldier, fought Ben Omondi from the Coastal region:

    Victor Odhiambo
    Image caption: Victor Odhiambo is a Kenyan soldier
    Ben Omondi
    Image caption: Ben Omondi looked rather dazed after his bout was stopped in round two

      Rebecca Wambui is one of the referees officiating:

    Rebecca Wambui
  17. Dangote and Gates announce $100m health scheme for Nigeria

    Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote has teamed up with Bill Gates, the world's richest man, to announce $100m (£70m) of funding to help cut malnutrition in Nigeria. 

    Mr Dangote said the partnership between his Dangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would help address the problem, which affects some 11 million children in northern Nigeria. 

    The Microsoft founder said their prospects would be "greatly damaged if we don't solve malnutrition", AFP new agency reports.

    The announcement was made in Abuja, a day after both men signed a deal to ramp up immunisation programmes in the northern states of Kaduna, Sokoto and Kano, where Mr Dangote is from. 

    Mr Dangote (see below, R) and Mr Gates (C) met Lamido Sanusi (fourth from left), the Emir of Kano and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria:

    Lamido sanusi, Bill gates and Dangote