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06:51, 29 May 2017 Monday
16:19, 17 February 2017 Friday

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Southern Africa braced as tropical storm hits
Southern Africa braced as tropical storm hits

Storm arrives in South Africa, Zimbabwe after killing 7 in Mozambique

World Bulletin / News Desk

Disaster teams were on high alert for flooding across northeastern South Africa on Friday as a tropical storm that killed seven in Mozambique made its way south.

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs reported that Tropical Storm Dineo had struck Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces.

Kruger National Park, which lies along the Mozambique border, evacuated camps and closed roads as a precautionary measure, news website Eyewitness News reported.

“The rain from this system has now started affecting the northeastern parts of South Africa from this morning,” the department said in a statement. It added that up to 8 inches (200 millimeters) of rain and winds of up to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) were expected.

The government warned of flooding causing damage to roads and bridges, cutting off communities and displacing others. The storm is expected to lash the country until late Saturday.

Dineo has been downgraded from a cyclone since it landed in Inhambane, southern Mozambique, on Thursday, when winds destroyed 20,000 homes and displacing more than 130,000 residents.

In neighboring Zimbabwe, Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said the army and air force were on high alert. Two helicopters had been dispatched to Masvingo and Manicaland provinces to help evacuate people stranded by flooding from the Save river.

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Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution
Libya extremist group Ansar al-Sharia announces dissolution

The Libyan jihadist group Ansar al-Sharia, which is linked to Al-Qaeda and deemed a terrorist organisation by the UN and United States, announced its "dissolution" in a communique published online on Saturday. Washington accuses the group of being behind the September 11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in which ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. Ansar al-Sharia is one of the jihadist groups that sprung up in Benghazi, Libya's second largest city, in the chaos following the death of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011. They overran the city in 2014. East Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar earlier this month launched an offensive to oust jihadist fighters from their two remaining strongholds in Benghazi. In its communique Ansar al-Sharia said it had been "weakened" by the fighting. The group lost its leader, Mohammed Azahawi, in clashes with Haftar's forces in Benghazi at the end of 2014. Most of its members then defected to the so-called Islamic State group. Ansar al-Sharia later joined the Revolutionary Shura Council of Benghazi, a local alliance of Islamist militias. At its zenith, Ansar al-Sharia was present in Benghazi and Derna in eastern Syria, with offshoots in Sirte and Sabratha, western Libya. The organisation took over barracks and other sites abandoned by the ousted Kadhafi forces and transformed them into training grounds for hundreds of jihadists seeking to head to Iraq or Syria.