Briefing: 300 dead in Somalia bomb attack, Austria elects youngest leader

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This briefing was updated on October 17 to reflect the latest reports from Somalia, where the head of Mogadishu’s ambulance service told Reuters that the death toll from Saturday’s bomb blasts had risen to 300.

  • Two bomb blasts in Somalia’s capital killed more than 300 people in its deadliest attack since an Islamist insurgency began in 2007. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, though Islamist militant group al Shabaab stages regular attacks in the country. Since 2007, the group has waged an insurgency against the UN-backed government and its African Union allies.
  • Austria is set to elect the world’s youngest-ever leader in a move that will swing the country to the right. The conservative People’s Party, led by 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, is likely to win the country’s general election. It would mark a shift in the country’s politics after more than a decade under a centrist coalition. The People’s Party was set to win 31.5 percent, followed by the Social Democrats with 27 percent. It is likely to form a coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, which campaigned on tighter immigration and a ban on “fascistic Islam.”

What We’re Reading

  • Al Jazeera profiles the community leaders in Mosul who are trying to re-establish the Iraqi city’s cultural institutions that were destroyed during the Islamic State’s occupation.
    • This comes at a time where 400,000 children in Mosul are estimated to be displaced since the Iraqi army reclaimed the city three months ago, according to the charity Save the Children.
  • The Nation details how anti-Muslim sentiment in India is reflected in the country’s crackdown on beef consumption. The cow is considered a holy animal in Hinduism, and Muslims who eat cow meat are increasingly facing mob justice.
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