Chad/Boko Haram – Three people were killed and dozens wounded in two suicide bombings in the Lake Chad area on the 31 Jan 16 a region frequently targeted by Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists. In the first attack in Guie, a bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up, killing one person and injuring 32, while the second attack in the village of Miterine left two dead and 24 wounded.
Libya – Libyan officials say Islamic State militants have attacked one of the country's major oil terminals, setting storage tanks on fire at the coastal Ras Lanuf facility. State-run National Oil Corporation's spokesman, Mohammed al-Hariri, and Osama al-Hadairi, the spokesman for the oil facilities' security unit, say the attack took place early on the 20 Jan 16.
There were no details on the size of destruction or possible casualties. The IS affiliate in Libya, which controls the central city of Sirte, has carried out several such attacks and destroyed at least a dozen oil tanks. Attacks on the nearby Sidra oil port completely destroyed 16 out of 19 fuel tanks there, dealing a heavy blow to Libya's already embattled oil sector.
President Barack Obama on the 28 Jan 16 said the United States would tackle the Islamic State group beyond Iraq and Syria if necessary, as he signalled an increased focus on Libya. Amid fears that a power vacuum in the North African nation has provided fertile ground for Islamic State to grow, Obama convened his National Security Council to discuss the issue. "The President emphasized that the United States will continue to counter ISIL terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary," the White House said following the meeting. "The President directed his national security team to continue efforts to strengthen governance and support ongoing counterterrorism efforts in Libya and other countries where ISIL has sought to establish a presence."
Nigeria – At least 70 people have been killed during an attack by Boko Haram armed group in northeast Nigeria. The blast took place in the country's north-eastern city of Maiduguri on the 30 Jan 16. A Nigerian military spokesman, Colonel Mustapha Ankas, said that Boko Haram fighters attacked the community of Dalori, about 5 km east of Maiduguri, on Saturday evening.
Somalia/al-Shabaab – Twenty people were killed when a suicide car bomber rammed the gates of a seaside restaurant in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on the night of the 21 Jan 16 and Islamists fought their way inside firing at diners. Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and the deadly siege inside the the Liido Seafood restaurant, which is popular with Mogadishu's elite and government officials, police official Capt. Mohamed Hussein said. The security forces took control of the restaurant just before dawn on the 22 Jan 16, ending the siege Hussein stated. It's unclear whether the assailants are included in the more than 20 that were killed. Blasts and bursts of gunfire could be heard as Somali Special Forces went from room to room pursuing the al-Shabaab gunmen who were inside the restaurant. Hussein said the security forces rescued many people who had been trapped inside the restaurant's hall, where a party was taking place when the attack started. Witnesses said the gunmen shouted God is great and fired indiscriminately at people sitting near the beach. They randomly fired at the people sitting near the beach before entering the restaurant. The place was very busy when the gunmen came, so the number of casualties will probably rise. Conflicting reports claim two car bombs were set off during the siege. Islamic extremist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack, in a broadcast on its online radio. The Islamists are on a mission to disprove claims they are close to defeat since being routed from Mogadishu in mid-2011 and losing several alleged commanders in US drone strikes. The Lido beach area in Mogadishu is busy with restaurants, including upmarket establishments popular with business people and diaspora Somalis who have returned home to the city. The same restaurant was bombed in February 2013, reportedly killing a Somali soldier.
Somalia/al-Shabaab – At least three men were killed in a village in Kenya's coastal Lamu County in the early hours of the 31 Jan 16 during a raid claimed by Somalia-based armed group al-Shabaab. At least five gunmen came to Pandanguo village, searching for men. They interrogated them and killed some of them, a survivor who was shot during the attack said from a local hospital. The village sits about 40 km inland from the Indian Ocean town of Lamu, which is popular with Western tourists, and is 100 km from the border with Somalia. "They asked me questions in the Somali language. When I struggled to respond, they shot me but hit my hand," said the victim, who asked not to be named. The Al-Qaeda-linked rebel group claimed the early morning raid in a phone call to Al Jazeera. "Our fighters attacked non-believers in the occupied Muslim land of Lamu. Our Mujahideen killed several non-believers in the attack. We will give more details later." A spokesman for the group said. Mombasa county commissioner Nelson Marwa said the attack "resembles one of those executed by the al Shabaab," though he said investigators were still looking into the reports that the attackers were speaking Somali. In 2014, at least 60 people were killed in the area in a spate of attacks that targeted non-Muslim men. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for those attacks. Like the attack on Sunday, those attacks took place inland from the coast.
Tunisia – Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has warned that members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in neighbouring Libya may use the unrest in Tunisia to enter the country it was reported on the 22 Jan 16. Protests over unemployment in Tunisia, which started in the western Kasserine province, intensified and spread to other parts of the country on 21 Jan 16. On the 22 Jan 16 Essebsi said in a televised address that the government will put in place a programme to try to ease the jobless rate that spurred protests in impoverished regions. Such protests were "natural", Essebsi said. "There is no dignity without work... You can't tell someone who has nothing to eat to stay patient." "After the start of these demonstrations, ill-intentioned hands have intervened and inflamed the situation," the president said in his first public remarks since the troubles broke out. Essebsi said that there were "dirty hands" involved in the unrest after Tunis declared a nationwide curfew over the protests. "We have more than 700,000 unemployed, among them 300,000 youth who have qualifications and cannot find a job. And they are being targeted by outside forces, ISIL and others," he said. Protests and clashes in Kasserine started on the 16 Jan 16 after the death of an unemployed man who was electrocuted on top of a power pole near the governor's office. Solidarity rallies were held in cities including Tunis, Sidi Bouzid and Gafsa, with several reports of suicide attempts as frustration over the lack of jobs boiled over. Economic conditions have got worse since autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011 and the country, still being transformed into a democracy, is now facing its worst unrest since then. Essebsi's statements displayed two main messages: "One is that the government is committed to answering their demands for job opportunities, but he also said the government is not going to tolerate situations getting out of control, warning that groups like ISIL could take advantage of the situation." Roxanne Farmanfarmaian, a lecturer at Cambridge University said that it Essebsi's move of blaming "outside forces" for the protests was typical of the "authoritarian type of leadership in the Middle East". "This is not a good sign, because it implies he is not addressing the real cause, he is blaming outside forces," she said. "This uprising is perhaps helping to focus the mind of those who have supported Tunisia as being that beacon of Arab Democracy...I think we are coming to see that for a democracy to be established, it is not quite as easy as everyone thought. "And a very important part of that is to ensure that the youth in particular who are on the streets and helped put Essibsi into the job he has today, that they are given some answers and some jobs." France has said it will provide $1.1bn over five years to help Tunisia deal with its transition to democracy, President Francois Hollande said on the 22 Jan 16. "One of the main objectives of the plan is to help disadvantaged regions and youth, by acting strongly on jobs," the French president said in a statement after a meeting with the Tunisian prime minister.