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Homeland Security News

A collection of open-source homeland security and terrorism news from around the world.
Date: Jun 7, 2021

Armed men killed at least 160 people in an attack on a village in northern Burkina Faso, the country's worst attack in recent years, officials say.

Homes and the local market were burned during the raid on Solhan in the early hours of Saturday morning.

No group has said it was behind the violence, but Islamist attacks are increasingly common in the country, especially in border regions.

The UN chief said he was "outraged" by the incident.

António Guterres "strongly condemns the heinous attack and underscores the urgent need for the international community to redouble support to member states in the fight against violent extremism and its unacceptable human toll," his spokesperson said.

On Sunday, a total of 160 bodies were recovered from what local officials in Solhan described as three mass graves, AFP news agency reported.

Read more: BBC News

One person was arrested after a homemade bomb went off near a beer garden in Boerne, according to the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened around 11:20 a.m., Saturday, at Random, a beer garden in the area, located at 11 Upper Cibolo Creek Road.

Deputies were called to the scene for a report of a loud explosion. When they arrived, they found remnants of a “homemade improvised explosive device” in the back parking lot, according to officials.

Visitors of the beer garden and Boerne Lake were evacuated out of precaution, deputies said.

No other explosive devices were found in the area and there are no ongoing threats to the public, according to the KCSO.

Read more: KSAT (San Antonio)

Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, a Shiite cleric who as Iran’s ambassador to Syria helped found the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and lost his right hand to a book bombing reportedly carried out by Israel, died Monday of the coronavirus. He was 74.

A close ally of Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Mohtashamipour in the 1970s formed alliances with Muslim militant groups across the Mideast. After the Islamic Revolution, he helped found the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Iran and as ambassador to Syria brought the force into the region to help form Hezbollah.

In his later years, he slowly joined the cause of reformists in Iran, hoping to change the Islamic Republic’s theocracy from the inside. He backed the opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi in Iran’s Green Movement protests that followed the disputed 2009 re-election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Read more: AP

The Taliban has taken control of seven district centers in four different regions of Afghanistan over the past week as Afghan security forces struggle to maintain control of the security situation.

Six districts in the north, south, southeast and west have fallen under Taliban control, while another district in the south is under effective Taliban control. The disbursed location of the Taliban attacks will force the already strained Afghan military to divide its forces if it wants to retake the districts.

In the north, the Taliban seized control of Du Ab and Mandol districts in the rugged mountainous province of Nuristan. Afghan officials said in both cases the Afghan military and police units stationed at the district centers retreated from the Taliban advance. Afghan officials had previously admitted in February that Mandawal was under effective Taliban control as government officials were unable to administer the district due to the strong Taliban presence. Nuristan is a heavily contested province.

Read more: Long War Journal

In audio obtained by news agencies, the Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) said Shekau died detonating explosives on himself after a battle between the two groups.

Shekau was reported dead last month and has been reported killed before. Neither Boko Haram nor the Nigerian government have confirmed his death.

Army spokesman Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima told the BBC at the time the army was looking into what happened, but that it would not issue a statement until it got definitive proof.

One journalist with close links to security agencies said that Shekau died when Iswap attacked Boko Haram positions in the Sambisa forest, north-east Nigeria.

He has been reported dead numerous times before, only to resurface.

Read more: BBC News