At least 17 soldiers were killed in a fresh Boko Haram attack on a military base in the Borno, military sources told AFP Thursday, the third assault on three different bases in less than a month.
On Wednesday evening, heavily armed jihadists riding in trucks stormed and looted weapons and vehicles from a military base in Garunda village in Borno State, the epicentre of the Islamist insurgency that has been raging for nine years.
The attack is the latest of a series of bloody Boko Haram assaults on military bases in Nigeria, underscoring the continued threat the Islamists pose to the region and putting the spotlight on the Nigerian government’s claim that Boko Haram is “decimated”.
“Our troops came under attack from Boko Haram terrorists in Garunda last night,” a military officer told AFP.
“Unfortunately we lost 17 troops, 14 others were injured while an unspecified number is still unaccounted for,” said the military source, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak on the incident.
The source added that the militants looted weapons and vehicles before fleeing.
In the past month, Boko Haram jihadists have launched two other major assaults on military bases in the remote northeast region.
On July 14, jihadists suspected to be loyal to Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, who is affiliated with the Islamic State group, attacked a base in Jilli village, in neighbouring Yobe state.
Dozens of troops were killed, wounded or missing, according to several security sources.
The army conceded the base was attacked but did not give a death toll, saying that the “troops reorganised and successfully repelled the attack and normalcy has since returned to the area”.
On July 26, the Islamists stormed a base on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno state.
The base attacked yesterday in Garunda village of Borno state had just been set up for troops from the 81 brigade who had been stationed in Jilli village and forced to move after the July 14 assault.
“The truth of the matter is that the troops in Jilli were relocated to Garunda where a new base was established,” said the second military source, who gave a similar death toll.
“Troops were just setting up and the excavator operator was working to fortify the base with trenches against attack from the terrorists when the attack happened,” said the officer.
The Nigerian army did not respond to requests for comment.
Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Thursday confirmed in a statement that a staff member, an excavator operator attached to the military, “was killed by Boko Haram yesterday in Damasak, Borno state”.
Boko Haram no longer controls swathes of territory in northeast Nigeria as it did at the height of its insurgency in 2014, yet the Islamist militants still pose a threat to the impoverished region. (AFP)
Boko Haram jihadists have killed seven villagers in a dawn raid in Nigeria’s restive northeast, local militia and a resident said Tuesday.
Gunmen in trucks and on motorcycles late Monday attacked Munduri, a village 13 kilometres (eight miles) north of Borno state capital Maiduguri, firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to resident Abdullahi Bunu.
“The attackers seized seven people and beheaded them before setting fire to the entire village,” militia leader Umar Ari told AFP by telephone from Maiduguri.
Those who were decapitated were the village chief and his wife, Bunu said.
“We returned this morning and found the entire village burnt along with all our food supplies and livestock”.
Boko Haram has intensified its armed campaign in recent weeks, including against military targets in which dozens of troops are believed to have been either killed or missing.
The rebels have split into two groups, and it was not immediately clear which was behind the latest attack.
A faction loyal to Abubakar Shekau is notorious for indiscriminate killings of civilians while the Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi faction — which is affiliated to the so-called Islamic State — largely focuses on attacking the military.
Five people were killed in a similar raid last week in Gasarwa village, near the garrison town of Monguno.
The attacks contrast with repeated claims by the military and the government that Boko Haram has been defeated and that it is safe for people displaced by Islamist violence to return home.
The jihadists’ nine-year campaign to establish a hardline Islamic state has killed an estimated 20,000 people and displaced over 2.6 million from their homes.
The Nigerian Army has alerted of the emergence of another deadly Islamic sect known as “Hakika Islamic.” The army said the group has strange doctrines similar to that of Boko Haram.
The sect, according to the army, is headed by one Yahaya Ibrahim and is currently recruiting young men and women; with operational bases around Ngwurore, in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State and Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Giving more insight into the activities of the sect, the army said the group has controversial doctrines. The sect, which is said to have been in existence for sometime now, according to Daily Sun sources, was beginning to give army authorities fighting counter-insurgency war in the North East big concern.
It was also gathered that already, the army authorities in Borno State have contacted the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS); to inform them about the existence of the sect.
Army informed the NIS in a July 4, 2018 letter.
The said letter, with reference number 192 BN/G3/240/57, was signed by one Lieutenant TG Iortyom on behalf of the Acting Commanding Officer in charge of 192 Battalion in Borno.
The letter, made available to Daily Sun, reads: “I am directed to connect security report from own high command and to inform you that information received that an Islamic Sect known as “Hakika” under the leadership of one Yahaya Ibrahim has emerged around Ngwurore in Yola South LGA of Adamawa State and Toto LGA of Nasarawa state.
“It was gathered that the group is currently on recruitment drive, with series of controversial doctrines from non-adherence to five days prayers, to non-observance of Ramadan, promotion of fornication and adultery among others. In view of the above, I am directed to request you disseminate this information to your men and monitor the activities of the newly formed sect in your Area of Responsibility, accordingly.”
When contacted, the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General John Agim, confirmed the report and added that the military is already on top of the situation.
“We are investigating activities of the group; to ensure that they do not get out of hand and cause havoc with their activities in the country,” said Agim. (The Sun)
Leaders of the terrorist group, Islamic State, are sneaking battle-hardened jihadis from Syria into Nigeria to train terrorists for possible attacks in Britain.
Fanatics, including Boko Haram insurgents, were also being sent to the Middle East for training in a chilling “exchange programme,” The UK SUN reported on Monday.
The paper said there were fears that strong links between Nigeria and the UK would make it easier for IS to send its killers to Britain to orchestrate terror attacks, death and destruction.
It noted that more than 150 British troops are conducting counter-terror training with Nigerian forces in an attempt to stem the bloody tide — and stop IS from taking hold in the West African region.
At one training mission in Kaduna, a senior Nigerian Air Force commander revealed how local jihadi groups were learning from IS after swearing allegiance to its black flag.
Group Captain Isaac Subi, 46, who has been fighting terrorism across Africa since 1991, said, “They come and train their fighters here and some of our insurgents too are granted access to their training in Yemen and Syria, acquiring those skills and they come back and teach others.
“They have this exchange programme of fighters.”
The report stated that the poisonous influence of the fighters had already ended in horror attacks on British streets, citing the stabbing to death of Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013 in London by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, both of Nigerian descent.
The Nigeria Immigration Service spokesman, Sunday James, said the agency has strengthened border security to ensure that “no foreign entity is allowed by whatever means into the country by land, air or waterways.”
He added in a statement that NIS operatives have been proactive, “going by the several arrests in recent past around the country by the Special Border Patrol Corps operatives of the NIS trained and deployed to carry out reconnaissance patrol.”
James admonished Nigerians to report suspicious individuals or groups to the Immigration Service or other security agencies for necessary action. (Punch)
A gunman claiming allegiance to ISIS who holed himself up inside a French supermarket after killing three people in a terror attack has been shot and killed by police.The attacker told police hostage negotiators he wanted a terrorist involved in the Paris attacks to be released from jail, as officials fear they will find more victims.
The incident is being treated as terrorism by French prosecutors
Police stormed the supermarket in in the town of Trebes at roughly 1.45pm and shot the attacker. A policeman has reportedly suffered a gunshot wound.
The gunman, believed to have been carrying grenades and a handgun, was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” and “vengeance for Syria” during his rampage in the neighbouring towns of Trebes and Carcassonne.
A third victim was later found dead in a ditch in Carcassonne near the police barracks with a gunshot wound to the head. Another victim was also seriously injured.
At 1.45pm there were reports police had stormed the supermarket and shot the attacker. A source said the gunman’s mother and sister were brought to the scene to try to convince him to surrender.
The gunman was known to the French intelligence service and his name was on an anti-radicalisation list which was created after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January 2015 to identify and monitor people who may carry out a terror attack.
Negotiators were in contact with the man, who demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the only surviving terrorist involved in the November 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, sources told French media.
Abdeslam, who has refused to answer questions at his trial in Brussels, is a Belgium-born French national of Moroccan descent. He was captured by anti-terror police in Brussels in March 2016.
He was charged with participation in terrorist murder and participation in the activities of a terrorist organization and attempted murder over a shootout with police which occurred days earlier as he eluded capture during a raid.
He is currently in solitary confinement in a high-security prison near Paris while awaiting trial. Abdeslam has admitted helping coordinate the 2015 attacks but failed to let off his suicide bomb vest out the Stade de France, France’s national sports stadium, during a football match between France and Germany.
Terrified shoppers fled the supermarket as the gunman stormed the building shouting “Allah Akbar” and “You are bombing Syria, you will die”, local media reported.
Around 20 hostages in the supermarket were released shortly after 12.15pm, but a police officer remained inside with the gunman. There were fears the suspect was armed with grenades, a handgun and knives.
The incident is happening in Trebes in the south of France
France has been on high alert following a string of jihadist attacks since 2015. In January of that year, an attack on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo left 12 people dead.Later in 2015, in November, ISIS terrorists killed 130 people when they attacked multiple locations in Paris, including bars, restaurants, the Bataclan concert venue and the national stadium.
The hostages are being held in a Super U supermarket which has been surrounded by police
In July 2016, in another attack claimed by ISIS, a man drove a truck through revellers celebrating Bastille Day in the southern coastal city of Nice, killing 84 people.
A state of emergency put in place just after the Paris attacks in 2015 was finally lifted in October last year, but soldiers continue to patrol major tourist sites and transport hubs under an anti-terror mission. (Mirror)
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that his government will ensure that no one group in the country imposes its religious beliefs on others in Nigeria. The President, who stated this yesterday, also assured that the Federal Government will not abandon the only girl from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State still in custody of the Boko Haram sect. Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was committed to the freedom of the only Dapchi schoolgirl still in captivity.
“The Buhari administration will not relent in efforts to bring Leah Sharibu safely back home to her parents as it has done for the other girls after she was held back by the terrorists over her decision, as reported, not to convert from Christianity to Islam. “President Buhari is fully conscious of his duty under the constitution to protect all Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic background or geopolitical location and will not shirk in this responsibility. “The President is equally mindful of the fact that true followers of Islam all over the world respect the injunction that there is no compulsion in religion.
“To this effect, no one or group can impose its religion on another. His heart goes out to the isolated parents who must watch others rejoice while their own daughter is still away. “The lone Dapchi girl, Leah, will not be abandoned,” he said. The President told the Sharibu family that the government will ensure that the girl is reunited with her parents. (New Telegraph)
France’s parliament has adopted an anti-terrorism bill that will bolster police surveillance powers and make it easier to close mosques suspected of preaching hatred.
Before the vote, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb described France as being “still in a state of war” as authorities struggle to deal with the threat posed by foreign jihadists and homegrown militants.
Since 2015 more than 240 people have been killed in France in attacks by assailants who pledged allegiance to, or were inspired by, Islamic State.
The latest attack took place on Sunday when suspected Islamist Ahmed Hanachi cried ‘Allahu akbar’ before fatally stabbing two women outside Marseille’s main train station.
Legislators in the lower house adopted the bill by a margin of 415 to 127.
“Lawmakers realise that today’s threat is serious and that we must protect ourselves against terrorists. This must be done in a way that balances security and freedom,” Collomb told reporters after the vote. “This text will help protect French people.”
Emergency powers that were put in place after the Bataclan theatre attack in November 2015 have already played a significant role in enabling intelligence agencies to disrupt plots, according to the French government.
The new legislation would see many of those emergency powers enshrined in law, with limited oversight from the judiciary.
The interior ministry, without approval from a judge, will be able to set up security zones when there is a threat.
Security forces will be able to restrict the movement of people and vehicles in and out of these zones.
They will also have the power to carry out searches inside theses zones.
The interior ministry will have more power to shut down mosques and other places of worship if intelligence agencies believe religious leaders are inciting violence in France or abroad or justifying acts of terrorism.
Police will also have greater powers to raid private property if they have judicial approval, and there will be an increased ability to impose restrictions on people’s movements, including via electronic surveillance tags if they are regarded as a threat to national security.
A parliamentary commission will now seek compromise on amendments put forward by the Senate and Assembly before a second reading and definitive vote, expected in mid-October.
President Emmanuel Macron, painted by rivals as weak on security during his election campaign, has already acted to bolster counter-terrorism efforts, creating a task force in June to improve coordination among France’s multiple intelligence agencies.
The anti-terrorism bill has met little resistance from the public, with people still on edge after the series of Islamist-related attacks, but rights campaigners say it will curb civil liberties.
“France has become so addicted to the state of emergency that it is now injecting several of these abusive measures into ordinary law,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
It added that French parliament members had chosen the politics of fear over the protection of hard-won civil liberties and urged parliament and the judiciary to closely monitor how the government uses its new power.
Nonetheless, some conservative opponents of Macron say the draft legislation, which is not as all-encompassing as the state of emergency currently allows, does not go far enough.
“We need to rearm the state,” right-wing lawmaker Eric Ciotti said in a radio interview before the vote. He called for authorities to have greater powers to expel foreigners who threaten public safety. (Mailonline)