GAMBIA

Coup is thwarted

as its leader is killed

Forces loyal to Gambian President Yahya Jammeh defeated a coup attempt against the controversial leader early Tuesday that was led by a former commander of the presidential guard, local and other African media reported.

The alleged coup leader, exiled State House Commander Lt. Col. Lamin Sanneh, was mortally wounded in a gun battle that began shortly after 1 a.m. local time, the AllAfrica.com news service reported, citing local government officials.

Jammeh was reportedly out of the country at the time for a medical checkup in France.

Gambia's capital, Banjul, was in "complete chaos" in the predawn hours as troops loyal to Jammeh battled the Sanneh contingent, AllAfrica.com said. Later, Kalidu Bayo, head of the national civil service, said: "Peace and calm continue to prevail in the Gambia." - Los Angeles Times

SOMALIA

Shabab leader dead

A senior al-Shabab militia leader was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Somalia, U.S. and Somalian officials said. Somalian officials identified the slain man Tuesday as Abdishakur. Officials said he was the head of an al-Shabab unit believed responsible for suicide attacks in Mogadishu. Al-Shabab, which controls a large swath of rural Somalia, has been trying to regain power since it was driven out of Mogadishu and the port of Kismayo by African Union troops in 2011 and 2012. - Tribune Washington Bureau

CUBA

Dissidents arrested

Cuban authorities arrested several dissidents and journalists Tuesday in an apparent attempt to prevent them from attending a Havana rally organized by a new movement. Tuesday's rally called for participants to go before a microphone for one minute to share their thoughts on how Cuba's future should unfold. - Miami Herald