Minneapolis: Explosion and fire destroys Somali apartments/business, many injured

Fire fighters battle blaze as below zero temperatures make their work difficult.

Update January 3:  Body found, gas leak suspected, Rep. Ellison stops by the scene, here.  See also Gates of Vienna: “the whole business is fishy.”  The story takes a strange twist, here.

Update January 2:  More here about ‘landmark’ mosque next door.  No gas leaks reported or inspection issues so no explanation for the explosion yet, at FoxNews.

There may already be much more news on this story, but just coming to the computer now after a pleasant New Years Day (away from the computer!), I see Drudge has posted this CNN story about what they know so far:

(CNN) — An explosion and fire at a three-story apartment building in Minneapolis Wednesday left at least 14 people hospitalized, six critically, fire officials said. Three residents were believed to be missing and could still be inside.

Freezing weather conspired with heavy flames to hamper efforts to rescue victims and fight the fire, Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said.

Some horrified residents may have fallen or jumped from the burning building, which also housed a grocery store that served as a gathering place for the area’s growing Somali community.

“This is a community that’s been through a lot,” outgoing Mayor R.T. Rybak said. “People who come to live in this part of our city often have gone through horrendous things. They come here for peace and for safety.”

An explosion was reported about 8:15 a.m., and the building was soon engulfed in flames, officials said.


Farah Ahmed, a relative of the owner of the grocery store, said the small business was a popular gathering place.

“It was a gathering center,” he said. “We started from scratch and we will make it again.”

A mosque next door to the building appeared to escape damage.

If anyone sees the news tomorrow about what caused the blast, please send it our way.

For new readers, see one of our most-read posts at RRW—Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis?

UK: Farage does a U-turn, calls for only Syrian Christians to be resettled

Displaced Syrian Christians.

This story is now a couple of days old, sorry I didn’t get to it yesterday, but Britain’s conservative party leader Nigel Farage has modified his earlier call that the UK should resettle Syrian refugees and says now it should only be the Christians.

And, coincidentally, Syrian Christians are talking to the media and reporting that they are not being resettled.

Members of the general public in the UK and in the US, if they are following this issue at all, are surely saying to themselves:  we watch these Muslim vs. Muslim civil wars in the Middle East and in Africa and then we are expected to resettle Muslims to the West—WTH!

Here is Yahoo.News on Farage’s U-turn (hat tip: Joanne):

Nigel Farage has retreated from his call for the UK government to take Syrian refugees into the UK, saying that only Christians from the country should be allowed in.

The Ukip leader caused a furious backlash from his party members over the weekend after saying that David Cameron had a duty to take in Syrian refugees fleeing for their lives.

The call put him at odds with the coalition government, who are refusing to take any refugees from the country.

However, in a U-turn which will lead to accusations of bigotry, he has now said that only Christians from the country should be admitted.

He told the Jeremy Vine Show that Syrian Muslims could flee to neighbouring countries.

“It’s bad enough for Sunni and Shia. At least there are neighbouring countries that will take them,” he said.

“Where on Earth are the Christians going to go? Christians are now a seriously persecuted minority.”

While Syrian Muslims are breaking into Western countries,* Christians playing by the rules in Jordan say they are not being allowed to apply to go to the West.

From CBN News:

Christian Syrian refugees have found temporary shelter in Jordan, but their immigration requests have been rejected by Western countries.

Some of them have spoken to the Associated Press, but want to remain anonymous for safety reasons.

One Syrian refugee said, “Everyone sold whatever they owned in Syria in order to get here, so that we could apply for visas at an embassy. We were all surprised to be rejected on the basis that there was no reason for us to go to Europe. Their reasons were all false – nothing correct in them.”

Another man said that western countries “were supposed to support us, and they were supposed to facilitate our immigration process as Christians, and I’m very sad that they haven’t.”

Read it all.

* Here is one more case where Turkey facilitated the movement of illegal alien Syrians who went to Turkey.  The “refugees” where allowed to leave Turkey for Morocco, then on to Guinea-Bissau where corrupt officials allowed them to board a plane to Portugal on false passports.  Portugal has now stopped all flights between Guinea-Bissau and their country due to the controversy.

Photo is from this story at PressTV.

Happy New Year! Best wishes for 2014

Mid-year 2014, RRW will be 7 years old.  Time does fly!  Thanks to all of our readers new and old for continuing to visit.

We are happy to report that we surpassed our goal of 1000 subscribers/followers by today!  At this moment we are at 1007 and for a small, narrowly focused blog we think that is great.

Since our inception we have had over 1.7 million visitors and this past year those visitors came from 202 countries.

2013 was our top year so far for readers with 377,228 viewers. We are growing every year!  The average number of visitors per day was 1,522 for 2013.

The top posts were our Fact Sheets, followed by ‘They are fighting back in Sweden,’ and ‘Why so many Somalis in Minneapolis.’  Just a reminder that in our right hand sidebar is a list of ‘Top Posts’ every day.  I find it very useful to see what readers are most interested in and you might too.

Please subscribe, follow us on facebook, or on twitter.  Tell your friends!

My apologies for setting up that Yahoo e-mail address to write to us (in the right hand sidebar).  It turns out I can barely drag myself there to look for reader e-mails because the junk mail is so out of control at Yahoo.  But, I promise to go there today to begin cleaning it out.  Sorry if I’ve missed something important.   You can always send a link via a comment to a recent post (even if it’s off-topic) and we will see those as we still monitor our comments before posting.

One more thing.  I think wordpress is placing ads on our posts, but we want you to know that this project—Refugee Resettlement Watch—is a charitable endeavor by its writers.  No one pays us for our opinions!