South Korean soldiers remove tons of mud after a flood caused by heavy rains hit the area around an apartment complex in Seoul on Thursday. Photo by Park Ji-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images.
Unrelenting rain pounding Seoul, South Korea, and the southern part of the country is causing historic flooding and extensive landslides. The downpours, which are being called the heaviest in 100 years, will continue Thursday at as much as two inches per hour. Some neighborhoods around Seoul are being evacuated.
The flooding left some motorists stranded on top of their cars. According to the Chosun Illbo, Seoul has been “paralyzed” by the rainfall, with some roads completely underwater:
The rain submerged some subway lines, main highways and low-lying parts of the capital, creating hellish conditions for commuters. Parts of Gwanghwamun in downtown Seoul were submerged in waist-deep water, causing traffic to come to a halt. Police blocked some 20 areas in the capital, trapping millions of commuters in their vehicles and causing many to report late to work.
Militants Lay Siege to Afghan Compound, at Least 17 Killed
Three suicide bombers blasted open the gates of the governor’s compound in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, allowing gunmen in and starting a battle that raged for hours and left at least 17 people dead. According to a hospital official, the 17 killed included 10 children. BBC reporter Ahmad Omid Khpolwak was also believed to have been killed in the attack.
The compound houses the governor’s home, a police headquarters and offices of a private security company. The fighting then spilled over into a nearby market.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes one day after a suicide bomber killed Ghulam Haider Hamidi, the popular mayor of Kandahar. President Hamid Karzai’s half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, was shot and killed by his bodyguard earlier this month.
Afghan forces reportedly engaged the gunmen with the assistance of NATO forces. Violence, particularly in southern Afghanistan, has spiked as NATO begins to hand provinces over to Afghan security forces.
Tikrit Bombing Kills at Least 10, Injures 30
A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a bank in Tikrit, Iraq, killing at least 10 and wounding at least 30 others. Policemen had gathered at the government’s Rafidain bank to collect their paychecks when the attack took place. An official said many of the casualties were civilians.
The attack was preceded by a car bomb, drawing people to the parking lot before the suicide bomber blew himself up.
Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown, has seen several major attacks this year, including the siege of a government building that killed 60 people and a mosque attack that killed 19.
Mogadishu Clashes Leave 6 Dead
Aid agencies are struggling to bring relief for victim’s of Somalia’s famine as clashes between al-Qaida linked militant group al-Shabab and African Union troops have further added to the chaos in Mogadishu. Al-Shabab, which controls almost half of Mogadishu and swaths of the country, has rejected outside aid efforts — putting them on a collision course with the 9,000 African Union forces in Mogadishu.
“The al-Shabab militants already have killed men who tried to escape the famine with their families, saying it is better to starve than accept help from the West,” the Associated Press reported.
The drought on the Horn of Africa is affecting more than 10 million people and prompting many to flee to makeshift camps.
Mohamed Ibrahim, Somalia’s foreign minister, said that 3.5 million people inside the country are in danger of starving to death.