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Terror Strikes Again: Suicide Bombers Rock Mogadishu Airport

A suicide bomber tried to drive a car packed with explosives through a Somali security checkpoint and then detonated the explosives causing casualties

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Map of Somalia. Image source: VOA
  • The entrance targeted in the bombing is regularly used by employees who work at the airport
  • Residents in the area also reported hearing two massive simultaneous explosions just around 9 a.m. local time
  • The security source said casualties are expected among Somali security forces, AU and private security guards

Two suspected Al-Shabab car bombs exploded outside the main entrance of Mogadishu’s airport early Tuesday, July 26, during morning rush hour, said security officials of Somalia.

Somalia’s Interior security ministry said on Twitter that there were twin explosions, but did not give casualty figures.

The entrance targeted in the bombing is regularly used by employees who work at the airport.

Residents in the area also reported hearing two massive simultaneous explosions just around 9 a.m. local time.

Mogadishu Airport. Image source: www.somaliareport.com
Mogadishu Airport. Image source: www.somaliareport.com

According to reports from the residents, a suicide bomber tried to drive a car packed with explosives through a Somali security checkpoint and then detonated the explosives causing casualties.

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Seconds later another car arrived and this time, the suicide bomber detonated the car close to security forces and nearby African Union forces.

A security source told VOA that private security guards charged with protecting United Nations personnel outside the AU compound were also at the checkpoint at the time of the attack.

The security source said casualties are expected among Somali security forces, AU and private security guards.

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It’s not yet known if any UN officials were preparing to leave the airport at the time of the attack. The private security detail escorts UN officials and vehicles outside the airport perimeter.

Security sources say attackers did not breach the perimeter of the airport which partially hosts the main Headquarters of the AU as well as foreign embassies. (VOA)

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Microsoft Tests Software Called “Election Guard” To Make Voting Secure

Microsoft tests its newly-developed software to ensure votes are not altered

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Microsoft has begun testing its free open-source software called "ElectionGuard"that aims to secure votes. Pixabay

Microsoft has begun testing its free open-source software called “ElectionGuard” in a small Wisconsin town in the US that aims to make voting more secure, verifiable and efficient.

“ElectionGuard” will enable end-to-end verification of elections, open results to third-party organisations for secure validation, and allow individual voters to confirm their votes were correctly counted.

It enables government entities, news outlets, human rights organisations or anyone else to build additional verifiers that independently can certify election results have been accurately counted and have not been altered, according to the company. The software would create a paper trail and assure voters their votes were properly tallied.

“On Tuesday, Fulton residents are using the technology while choosing who will join the local school board and hold a seat on Wisconsin’s state Supreme Court,” reports CNBC. With the test, the company aims to see if voters like the experience and make sure everything works fine.

Microsoft
“ElectionGuard” by Microsoft will enable end-to-end verification of election. Pixabay

In May last year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced “ElectionGuard”. According to Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President, Customer Security and Trust, voting system manufacturers will be free to build ElectionGuard into their systems in a variety of ways.

“These are exciting steps that enable individual voters to confirm their vote was properly counted, and assures those voters using an ElectionGuard system of the most secure and trustworthy vote in the history of the US,” Burt said in a recent blog post. “ElectionGuard” is not intended to replace paper ballots but rather to supplement and improve systems that rely on them, and it is not designed to support internet voting.

The software provides each voter a tracker with a unique code that can be used to follow an encrypted version of the vote through the entire election process via a web portal provided by election authorities.

During the process of vote-casting, voters have an optional step that allows them to confirm that their trackers and encrypted votes accurately reflect their selections. But once a vote is cast, neither the tracker nor any data provided through the web portal can be used to reveal the contents of the vote.

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After the election is complete, the tracker codes can be used by voters to confirm that their votes were not altered or tampered with and that they were properly counted, said Microsoft.

On the security front, “ElectionGuard” uses something called homomorphic encryption – which enables mathematical procedures “like counting – to be done with fully encrypted data”. (IANS)