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Al-Shabab claims responsibility for Somali plane blast

Officials said the bomb was intended to kill all those on board the plane. Credit: Harun Maruf

Islamist militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for an explosion which blasted a hole in the side of a Somali plane.

The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Mogadishu after the explosion last week.

The government said the blast was caused by a bomb intended to kill everyone on board. One man, suspected of being the bomber, was sucked out of the side of the plane and died. Two other passengers suffered minor injuries.

Al-Shabab said in a statement: "Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen carried out the airborne operation as a retribution for the crimes committed by the coalition of Western crusaders and their intelligence agencies against the Muslims of Somalia."

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have Zika

An Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus Credit: Reuters

More than 5,000 pregnant women in Colombia have contracted the Zika virus, bringing the total infections to 31,555, the country's health ministry has said.

The mosquito-borne disease has been linked to the microcephaly in babies, an abnormal smallness of the head which can be due to abnormal brain development.

Kerry: US wants to see 'strong UK stay in strong EU'

US secretary of state John Kerry with David Cameron. Credit: PA

The United States would like to see "a very strong United Kingdom staying in a strong EU", secretary of state John Kerry has said.

Mr Kerry said it was "profoundly" in America's interests that the UK voted to remain in the union in the upcoming referendum.

David Cameron's renegotiation drive is approaching its moment of truth at a Brussels summit next week.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Mr Kerry said: "I want to express the confidence of President Obama and all of us in America that, just as it has so many times before, Europe is going to emerge stronger than ever, provided it stays united and builds common responses to these challenges.

"Now obviously, the United States has a profound interest in your success as we do in a very strong United Kingdom staying in a strong EU."

UK ticket-holder claims £24m Euromillions jackpot

A UK ticket-holder has come forward to claim a £24 million EuroMillions jackpot Credit: PA

A claim has been made for a £24 million EuroMillions jackpot which was won by a UK ticket-holder on Friday, Camelot has said.

It has yet to be validated, could see the unknown ticket-holder receive the money as soon as Monday.

The winning numbers were 31, 49, 28, 20, 03 with Lucky Stars 05, 02.

The claim, which needs to be validated, could see the unknown ticket-holder receive the money as early as Monday.

It is not yet known whether the prize was won individually or as part of a syndicate, or where the ticket was purchased.

"After an unprecedented nine UK EuroMillions winners in 2015, it looks like the luck has rolled over into 2016", a National Lottery spokesman said.

This follows last month when Lotto created its biggest ever winners and the record-breaking number of Lotto millionaires made since October, a stunning 83. What a time to be a National Lottery player in the UK.

We are delighted the latest big EuroMillions winner has come forward to claim their prize and of course the Champagne is on ice ready to welcome them into the National Lottery millionaires' club.

– National Lottery spokesman


Palestinian woman shot dead by Israeli security forces

The incident happened near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Credit: Google Maps

A Palestinian woman who allegedly tried to stab a soldier was shot dead by Israeli security forces on Saturday, Israel's military has said.

No Israelis were injured in the attack, which happened in the city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

"An assailant drew a knife and attempted to stab a soldier," the army said in a statement. "Responding to the attack, forces fired at the perpetrator, resulting in her death."

The army said the incident occurred near Hebron's shared religious site known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque, a site of frequent friction between the sides.

Since the start of October, 27 Israelis have been killed during a series of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings. According to Israeli authorities, at least 158 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the same period.

Kerry calls on Russia to change 'targeting' in Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russia of dropping so-called 'dumb bombs'. Credit: Reuters

US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Russia of hitting legitimate opposition groups and civilians with its bombing campaign in Syria.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Mr Kerry said Moscow must change its targets in order to respect a ceasefire deal agreed on Friday.

To date, the vast majority of Russia's attacks have been against legitimate opposition groups. To adhere to the agreement it made, Russia's targeting must change.

– US Secretary of State John Kerry

He also said Moscow had been dropping so-called "dumb bombs" that do not have a precise target, leading to the killing of civilians.

Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev rejected claims Russia has bombed civilians in Syria, saying: "There is no evidence of our bombing civilians, even though everyone is accusing us of this."

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