NIGERIA

Military: Rebel HQ has been destroyed

Nigeria's military claims it has destroyed the headquarters of Boko Haram in northeastern Gwoza town and driven the insurgents from all three northeastern states that had been an extremist stronghold. It was not possible to verify Friday's victory that comes the day before critical presidential elections.

Nigerian officials have said a multinational offensive aims to wipe out Boko Haram. Analysts and diplomats say that is overly optimistic and that they expect that Boko Haram will be dislodged from territory but still will be able to perform hit-and-run attacks and suicide bombings.

The military has been pursuing "a final onslaught" that has dislodged the insurgents from towns and communities in Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno states, defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said. - AP
ISRAEL

Funds are unlocked

Israel announced Friday that it would release Palestinian tax revenues frozen earlier this year as a punitive measure after the Palestinian Authority's move to join the International Criminal Court. A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said he had accepted the recommendation of Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, the army and security agencies to release the frozen funds. - Los Angeles Times
SOMALIA

Deadly hotel attack

Islamist militants from al-Shabaab killed at least eight people in an attack on a popular hotel in Somalia's capital. The attackers detonated a car bomb at the gate of the Hotel Maka Al-Mukarrama in Mogadishu, and then gunmen entered the compound firing automatic weapons, according to police. After a gun battle with police, the remaining attackers blew themselves up. - Bloomberg