Friday, 9 December 2016

Photos: Armed robbers raid First Bank office in Imo

Dare devil armed robbers this morning raided a First Bank office situated in Amaraku, Imo state. They reportedly carted away millions of Naira. More photos after the cut.

US-led air raid in northern Syria kills 20 civilians

Nearly two dozen civilians have lost their lives when the so-called anti-Daesh US-led coalition carried out an airstrike in Syria’s troubled and militant-held northern province of Raqqah.

The attack struck al-Msheirfeh region north of the provincial capital city of Raqqah, located about 160 kilometers east of Aleppo, on Thursday and claimed the lives of nearly 20 civilians, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Friday.

The report added that several people also sustained injuries in the blitz. The death toll is expected to rise as many of the wounded victims are in critical condition.

The Russian Foreign Ministry later condemned the airstrike against civilian targets in Raqqah as “unacceptable.”

“These reports cause deep concern. Air and missile strikes that result in deaths and suffering of peaceful Syrians are unacceptable and deserve decisive condemnation. The suffering of civilian population must be stopped,” the ministry said in a statement.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on November 9 that at least 23 people, including a child, were killed when an airstrike by the US-led coalition struck the village of al-Heesha, situated about 40 kilometers north of Raqqah.

On October 4, at least 20 civilians were killed and 40 others injured after US-led coalition warplanes bombed the Kurdish-majority village of Thulthana in the northern province of Aleppo.

The development came only two days after airstrikes by the US-led coalition pounded the town of Mare’, located some 25 kilometers north of Aleppo, and left nine civilians dead.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be the Daesh terrorists inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.

At least 30 people have been killed after two women blew themselves up in a bustling market in Nigeria's northeastern town of Madagali, an army spokesman says.

Rescue workers evacuated the bodies of 30 people and took 67 wounded victims to a nearby hospital, Major Badere Akintoye, said on Friday.

Survivor Ahmadu Gulak said the blasts hit simultaneously at opposite ends of a grains and vegetables market.

Boko Haram Takfiri militants have been blamed for the attack on the edge of the group's Sambisa Forest stronghold, which the Nigerian military has been bombing ahead of ground assaults.

Boko Haram militants have been attacking soft targets since the military has dislodged them from towns and villages this year.

Madagali was liberated last year after months in the hands of Boko Haram. It is 150 kilometers southeast of the biggest northeastern city, Maiduguri, which has been the epicenter of Boko Haram's seven-year insurgency.

At least 30 people were killed when a bus station near the same market was targeted by two women bombers in December 2015.

Boko Haram militants also opened fire on mourners at a funeral in Madagali in June, killing 18 people.

The group has recently regained momentum after it was nearly obliterated months ago by a joint military force made up of Nigerian government forces and troops from neighboring countries.

Boko Haram has pledged allegiance to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which is mainly active in Syria and Iraq.

The United Nations has warned that areas affected by Boko Haram face a humanitarian crisis.

Boko Haram terrorists have killed more than 20,000 people and forced over 2.7 million others from their homes.

The group started its campaign with the aim of toppling the central government in Nigeria.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Nigeria Air Force personnel ​kill man ‘over prostitute’

A 60-year-old man was on Tuesday killed at a brothel in Maiduguri, Borno State, after a quarrel with some personnel of the Nigeria Air Force.
The fight occurred at a popular brothel located in Simari area of Maiduguri.
Witnesses said the victim, Ibrahim Bulama, was shot dead by soldiers after they clashed over a woman at the brothel.
Air Force authorities confirmed the killing, but did not clearly admit its personnel were involved in a struggle for a prostitute.
The Commander of the 105 Composite Group, Charles Ohwo, an Air Commodore, told journalists at a press briefing on Thursday that the deceased was not shot.
He said the man died when soldiers were trying to retrieve a rifle allegedly snatched from their colleague.
According to the Nigeria Air Force account, the soldier, Kamal Usman, a Lance Corporal, was on his way home from his duty post when he ran into people having an argument.
He said the armed personnel was trying to find out what happened, when his rifle was snatched.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that, on Wednesday 7th December 2016, an airman, Lance Corporal Kamal Usman, left his duty post at about 10pm, and on his way home, when he came across some gathering near a hotel in Simari area; and in an attempt to find out what was wrong, the crowd got scared and took to their heels,” Mr. Ohwo said.
“When the airman decided to check the surroundings to find out what scared the crowd, he entered one room in the hotel and found a woman laying on a bed.
“Unfortunately, the deceased old man, Bulama mobilized some people and came back to the hotel and attacked him from the back with matchets, inflicting serious injuries on his head and snatched his rifle.
“On sensing danger, the lance corporal left and mobilized his fellow colleagues for assistance. Upon arrival at the scene, they descended on the old man, and beat him to death in the process of recovering their rifle.
“The airman is now recuperating at the air force medical facility in Maiduguri, while his colleagues who were involved in the incident have been detained pending further investigation,” Mr. Ohwo said.
Witnesses questioned the Air Force’s narratives, saying it did not explain what exactly took the armed airman to a brothel, or how exactly he got to see the woman on the bed, or what he was doing with her at the time the mob mobilised to attack him.
“The soldiers have to do their investigation very well, because all we heard was that a solder was attacked by angry mob after the old man was killed,” said a source who asked not to be named for safety reasons.
Journalists were ushered into the military clinic at the Air Force base where the accused airman, who had deep cuts on his head, was admitted. He was cuffed by the legs.
Mr. Ohwo called for calm, promising thorough investigation into the matter.

Senate defers confirmation of Acting EFCC Chairman, Magu

ABUJA—THE Senate did not confirm the appointment of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, yesterday as expected but differed it to next Thursday. Though Magu and his team were on ground in full readiness for the exercise at the National Assembly,  the screening was, however, not captured in yesterday’s Order Paper. It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had forwarded Magu’s name to the Senate five months ago for confirmation. He   was appointed in acting capacity   by President Buhari on November 9, 2015, following the sack of his predecessor, Ibrahim Lamorde. Speaking with journalists on why Magu’s confirmation was postponed, Deputy Senate Majority leader,   Senator Bala Ibn-Na’Allah, explained that   appeals from senators   who were   currently out of Abuja, led to the deferment. Ibrahim Magu, Acting Executive Chairman, EFCC Senator Na’Allah, who disclosed that the Senate leadership had unanimously agreed to commence the exercise  next Thursday, said a letter had been sent to Magu and other members of the board of EFCC in this regard. Na’Allah said:  “Let me correct it. In fact it was listed on the Order Paper and removed. The Senate is normally guided by the time frame of the work. ‘’We agreed that today (yesterday) will be the confirmation hearing of the EFCC acting chairman, Magu, but we received a lot of calls from senators who are away and who believe that they want to participate and that it is unfair for us to fix it when we know they are not around. “When we look at the demands and the number, we felt it would be wrong for us to proceed. Then we said it should be next Thursday. Again, we became too unsure as to whether  Monday  or  Tuesday  will be declared public holiday by the Federal Government in respect of the impending Eid- Malud holiday. “We have since written an official letter to the acting chairman giving him that Thursday will be the day for the confirmation hearing of his appointment.” Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, had at the end of plenary on Wednesday, disclosed that Magu’s confirmation hearing would commence yesterday.

300 commandos to join Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria

Turkey is dispatching hundreds of more soldiers to neighboring Syria to reinforce its first major US-backed incursion of its conflict-ridden southern neighbor.

A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 300 special troops from the 11th Command Brigade departed Cardak airbase in the southwestern province of Denizli to the Syrian border on Thursday, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The source, however, did not provide any information whether they had crossed into Syria, and where in northern Syria they would be deployed.

On August 24, the Turkish air force and special ground forces kicked off Operation Euphrates Shield inside Syria in a declared bid to support the Free Syrian Army militants and rid the border area of Daesh terrorists and fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Democratic Union Party (PYD).

The offensive was launched in coordination with the US-led military coalition, which has purportedly been fighting Daesh extremists since 2014.

The incursion was the first major Turkish military intervention in Syria, which drew strong condemnation from the Syrian government for violating the Arab country's sovereignty.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on November 29 that the Turkish army marched into Syria to end the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, whom he accused of terrorism and causing the deaths of thousands.

The remarks caused consternation in the Kremlin, with Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov demanding Erdogan to clarify anti-Assad goals in Syria.

The Turkish leader backtracked on the comments two days later, asserting that the offensives there are aimed only at terrorists.

“The aim of the Euphrates Shield Operation is not any country or person, but only terrorist organizations,” Erdogan said in a speech at the presidential palace in Istanbul on December 1.

He added, “No one should doubt this issue that we have uttered over and over, and no one should comment on it in another fashion or try to derail it.”

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