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Federal Head Of Service Says Maina Was Never Sacked |The Republican News

Abdulrasheed Maina

Abdulrasheed Maina

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation has said it is an error for the public to assume that because a director in the civil service was recommended for sack, it is automatic.

The Assistant Director (Press), Office of Head of Service of the Federation, Mohammed Manga, said this in reaction to a report that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has secretly reinstated former chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina, into the civil service.

Maina was in 2013 recommended for dismissal by the Federal Civil Service Commission following a recommendation by the Office of the Head of Service.

In 2012, Maina was accused of leading a massive pension fraud scheme amounting to more than N100 billion. He was drafted by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2010 to sanitize a corrupt pension system.

Based on the allegation of corruption, Mr. Maina was invited by the Senate Joint Committee on Public Service and Establishment and State and Local Government Administration.

According to Manga in a telephone interview with Daily Sun, “You journalists should start reading civil servant rules and be properly informed so as not to misinform the public. Nobody will dismiss a director from service just by recommendations. A civil service director is not a political appointment, every one of them wrote exams and got promoted to that position, so sacking a director even an assistant is not easy. The Civil Service Commission are the ones constitutional backed to engage, discipline and promote a civil servant.”

Meanwhile, Minister of Interior, Gen (retd) Abdulrahman Dambazau, has denied having a hand in the recall of Maina in his ministry.

The Press Secretary to the Minister of Interior, Ehisienmen Osaigbovo, in a statement said, Maina was posted few days ago to the Ministry of Interior by the Office of the Head of Service on an Acting capacity to fill a vacancy created following the retirement of the Director heading the Human Resources Department in the Ministry.

The statement titled “Re-Buhari Administration Recalls Wanted Ex-Pension Boss Sacked for Alleged Corruption” read:

“The publication which queries the re-instatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms reportedly claimed that the Interior Minister was one of those behind the said re-instatement. It is observed that some insinuations as it concerns the Interior Minister were presented as facts, hence the compelling need to proffer some clarifications for reference purposes.    (The Sun)

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Turkey Seeks Extradition Of 1000 Turkish Citizens From Nigeria, Says FG |RN

TURKEY-POLITICS-GOVERNMENT

President Of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan

From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Nigerian government has confirmed that Turkish authorities requested for the extradition of over 1000 Turkish citizens in Nigeria for belonging to the Fethullah Movement “FETO” which has been declared a terrorists organization by the Turkish government.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed this at a news conference on Saturday, in Istanbul, to wrap up President Buhari’s four-day visit to Ankara and the D8 meeting.

Onyeama, said for the diplomatic skills of President Buhari, the matter would have led to frosted diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Turkey.

Nigeria had last year refused to honour request by Turkish government to close down 17 Turkish schools in the country for their alleged links with movement led by US-based Fethullah Gulen, fingered for July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey.

Buhari is currently in Turkey for both State visit as well as to attend the 9th D8 Summit in Istanbul which holds on Friday.

Turkish government had said investigations revealed that Fethullah Gulen was responsible for the failed coup attempt, which claimed over 200 lives, and has requested Nigerian government to close the schools.

Onyeama told journalists that, “There was the request for the extradition of some of the Turks in Nigeria who have been given asylum to remain in Nigeria and recognized by the United Nations (UN) as political refugees and the Turkish government requested that we extradite some of them. There was also the request that the schools and hospitals established by Gülen Movement should be closed in Nigeria. They now labelled them Fethtulah (FETO) as a terrorists organization”.

The minister noted that “These were all issues that were lingering and complicating slightly relationship between the two countries. So what this visit has been able to do I think is to put all those to rest and facilitate direct engagement and what I will call agreeing for a way forward between the two countries.

“Mr. President was very good in that. He is a very good diplomat. He was able to really douse the tension between the two sides while not compromising on principles of Nigeria. He did it The result has been that it has improved relationship between the two countries and government. The level of confidence between the two countries has also increased. It is a real diplomatic masterpiece”.

Onyeama said President Buhari assured President Erdogan that Nigeria would not allow its territory be used as a breeding ground for any terrorist or group of individuals with the aim of destabilizing Turkey.

“The point was made and Mr. President with regard to the Gülen movement that under no circumstances would Nigeria allow itself to be a base for the destabilization of Turkey. And Mr. President came out very strongly in support of the democratic process and institutions of Turkey, condemning the coup attempt in Turkey and reassuring the Turkish government of Nigeria’s total support for the territorial integrity of Turkey, for the democratic governance in Turkey and the security of Turkey. Likewise the Turkish government made that reassurance to Nigeria. So once they got those different issues out of the way, it was much easier and they were more able to focus on what will transform the lives of Nigerians and the Turkish people,” Onyeama said.

The Foreign Affairs Minister spoke on other areas that would have sparked off diplomatic crisis that President Buhari was able to amicably resolve with President Erdogan to include the refusal of visas to some Turkish security personnels, IPOB issue, and the delay in the issuance of Turkish visas to Nigeria and the request to increase the number of flights of Turkish Airlines into Nigeria.

“With all the outstanding issues, he was able to really skillfully navigate through but at the same time mending all the ruffled feathers and fences. We were able to void making it what I will call antagonistic. The part that he really chatted was to look at those areas where we can cooperate and there would be win-win and would diffuse tension. They looked at economic areas, educational areas, economic development, operational areas and agree to allow the normal legal international processes to run their course with regard to the more sensitive issues,” he said.     (The Sun)

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WHO Rescinds Mugabe Ambassador Role |The Republican News

Robert Mugabe at the World Economic Forum in Durban    © Reuters Robert Mugabe at the World Economic Forum in Durban
The World Health Organisation has reversed its decision to make Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe a goodwill ambassador.The appointment was described as “laughable” and an “insult” as opponents claimed Mr Mugabe’s policies and alleged human rights abuses have run the Zimbabwean health system into the ground.

WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had “listened carefully” to the criticism, consulted with the Zimbabwean government and “concluded that this decision is in the best interests” of WHO.

Dr Tedros added: “I thank everyone who has voiced their concerns and shared their thoughts. I depend on constructive debate to help and inform the work I have been elected to do.”

President Mugabe (R) and Dr Tedros pictured at a diseases conference© Getty President Mugabe (R) and Dr Tedros pictured at a diseases conference

The director general initially announced the honour at a conference in Uruguay, praising Zimbabwe for its commitment to public health.

He also suggested the 93-year-old could use the role “to influence his peers in his region”.

The appointment was slammed by opposition politicians who said Mr Mugabe had “trashed” the country’s health system and would regularly travel abroad for treatment.

Two dozen organisations – including the World Heart Federation, Action Against Smoking and Cancer Research UK – issued a statement in which they highlighted the Zimbabwean leader’s “long track record of human rights violations”.

Meanwhile, the British Government described the appointment as “surprising and disappointing, particularly in light of the current US and EU sanctions against him”.

 (Sky News)

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Rotten Yam Export: APC Senator Wants Ogbeh Arrested |The Republican News

Audu-Ogbeh

Minister Of Agriculture, Audu Innocent Ogbeh

From FRED ITUA, Abuja

Chairman, Senate committee on Agriculture, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has blamed the federal government, over the rising food crisis in the country. According to the former governor of Nasarawa State, the inability of the Federal Government to plan and make adequate provision for its citizens, are largely responsible for the crisis.

Adamu who spoke to journalists in Abuja at the weekend, also called for the arrest of the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbe and others, over the exportation of yam to the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe.

Speaking on the food crisis, Adamu said the country lacks statistics of the number of citizens and can therefore not plan adequately for them. He said the executive must sit down and make the right estimate on what Nigerians need.   (The Sun)

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A Russian Ghost Submarine, Its U.S Pursuers And A Deadly New Cold War |RN

Julian E. Barnes

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

The Krasnodar, a Russian attack submarine, left the coast of Libya in late May, headed east across the Mediterranean, then slipped undersea, quiet as a mouse. Next, it fired a volley of cruise missiles into Syria.

In the days that followed, the diesel-electric sub was pursued by the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, its five accompanying warships, MH-60R Seahawk helicopters and P-8 Poseidon anti-sub jets flying out of Italy.nodarThe U.S. and its allies had set out to track the Krasnodar as it moved to its new home in the Black Sea. The missile attack upended what had been a routine voyage, and prompted one of the first U.S. efforts to track a Russian sub during combat since the Cold War. Over the next weeks, the sub at points eluded detection in a sea hunt that tested the readiness of Western allies for a new era in naval warfare.

An unexpected resurgence in Russian submarine development, which deteriorated after the breakup of the Soviet Union, has reignited the undersea rivalry of the Cold War, when both sides deployed fleets of attack subs to hunt for rival submarines carrying nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.

When underwater, enemy submarines are heard, not seen—and Russia brags that its new subs are the world’s quietest. The Krasnodar is wrapped in echo-absorbing skin to evade sonar; its propulsion system is mounted on noise-cutting dampers; rechargeable batteries drive it in near silence, leaving little for sub hunters to hear. “The Black Hole,” U.S. allies call it.

“As you improve the quieting of the submarines and their capability to move that much more stealthily through the water, it makes it that much harder to find,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Benjamin Nicholson, of Destroyer Squadron 22, who oversees surface and undersea warfare for the USS Bush strike group. “Not impossible, just more difficult.”

a large ship in a body of water                       © Pavlishak Alexei/TASS/ZUMA PRESS  

Russia’s support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given Russian President Vladimir Putin opportunities to test the cruise missiles aboard the new subs over the past two years, raising the stakes for the U.S. and its allies.

Top officials of North Atlantic Treaty Organization say the alliance must consider new investments in submarines and sub-hunting technology. The findings of a study this year from the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank, grabbed the attention of senior NATO leaders: The U.S. and its allies weren’t prepared for an undersea conflict with Russia.

“We still remain dominant in the undersea world,” said Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Europe. “But we too must focus on modernizing the equipment we have and improving our skills.”

The U.S. Navy, which for years trained its sub-hunting teams through naval exercises and computer simulations, is again tracking Russian submarines in the Baltic, North Atlantic and Mediterranean seas. The challenge extends beyond Russia, which has sold subs to China, India and elsewhere.

“Nothing gets you better than doing it for real,” Capt. Nicholson said. “Steel sharpens steel.”

This account was based on interviews with officials from the U.S. Navy, NATO and crew members aboard the USS Bush, as well as Russian government announcements.

On May 6, after a last volley of cruise-missile tests conducted in the Baltic Sea, the Russian defense ministry said the Krasnodar was to join the country’s Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol, Ukraine, via the Mediterranean. American allies already knew.

The sub, traveling on the ocean surface, was accompanied by a Russian tug boat. The U.S. and its NATO allies had hashed out a plan to follow the sub using maritime-patrol aircraft and surface ships.

“Even if you are tracking a transiting submarine that is not trying to hide, it takes coordination and effort,” said Capt. Bill Ellis, the commodore of Task Force 67, the U.S. sub-hunting planes in Europe.

NATO’s maritime force, led by a Dutch frigate, took first lookout duty. The Dutch sent NH-90 helicopter to snap a photo of the sub in the North Sea and posted it on Twitter. Surveillance of the Krasnodar then turned to the U.K.’s HMS Somerset on May 5, about the time the sub entered the North Sea by the Dutch coast.

The Krasnodar passed through the English Channel and continued past France and Spain, where a Spanish patrol boat took up the escort.

When the submarine reached Gibraltar, a U.S. Navy cruiser monitored the sub’s entry into the Mediterranean Sea on May 13. U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft, flying out of the Sigonella air base in Italy, also took up watch.

“We want to see where it goes,” Capt. Ellis said. “At any time a submarine could submerge and start to be hidden, so we want to follow.”

As the Krasnodar headed east, Russia’s defense ministry notified international airlines that it would be conducting drills off the coast of Libya. U.S. officials and defense analysts said the drills were part of a sales pitch to potential buyers, including Egypt, that would show off the submarine’s cruise missiles.

A more dramatic and unexpected display came a few days later. Russia’s defense ministry announced on May 29 that the sub’s cruise missiles had struck Islamic State targets and killed militants near Syria’s city of Palmyra. Suddenly, a routine tracking mission turned much more serious.

With both U.S. and Russian forces crossing paths in Syria, each pursuing distinct and sometimes conflicting agendas, the battlefield has grown more complicated. The Russians have given only limited warnings of their strikes to the U.S.-led coalition. That has required the U.S. and its allies to keep a close eye on Russian submarines hiding in the Mediterranean.

Nuclear-armed submarines are the cornerstone of the U.S. and U.K.’s strategic deterrent. For the U.S., these subs make up one leg of the so-called triad of nuclear forces—serving, essentially, as a retaliatory strike force.

Smaller attack submarines like the Krasnodar, armed with conventional torpedoes and cruise missiles, can pose a more tangible threat to U.S. aircraft carriers, which are the Navy’s most important weapon to project American power around the world.

On June 5, the USS Bush, a $6.2 billion carrier, and its warships, passed through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. Its mission was to support U.S.-backed Syrian rebels and attack Islamic State positions.

Amid rising tensions between U.S. and Russian military forces in Syria—and with the Krasnodar trying to evade Western surveillance—the job of the USS Bush now also included tracking the sub and learning more about its so-called pattern of life: its tactics, techniques and battle rhythms.

By then, the Krasnodar had slipped beneath the waves and begun the game of hide and seek. Sailors and aviators with little real-world experience in anti-sub warfare began a crash course.

“It is an indication of the changing dynamic in the world that a skill set, maybe we didn’t spend a lot of time on in the last 15 years, is coming back,” said Capt. Jim McCall, commander of the air wing on the USS Bush.

The Krasnodar was designed to operate close to shore, invisible to opposing forces and able to strike missile targets 1,600 miles away. The coastal waters of the Mediterranean south of Cyprus, which put it within range of Syria, provided plenty of places to hide.

Finding a submarine that is operating on batteries underwater is very difficult. How many hours or days the Krasnodar’s batteries can operate before recharging is a secret neither Russian officials who know, nor the U.S. Navy, which may have a good idea, will talk about.

Western naval analysts say the sub most likely must use its diesel engines to recharge batteries every couple of days. When the diesel engines are running, they say, the sub can be more easily found.

The Krasnodar wasn’t likely to challenge an aircraft carrier. But the U.S. Navy was taking no chances. “One small submarine has the ability to threaten a large capital asset like an aircraft carrier,” said Capt. Ellis, the P-8 task force commander.

For many days in June, a squadron of MH-60R Seahawk helicopters lifted off from the deck of the USS Bush and its accompanying destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean. Some used radar for signs of the Krasnodar on the water’s surface. Others lowered sonar beacons to varying ocean depths.

“When you find what you are looking for in an ocean of nothingness, then it feels really good,” said Naval Aircrewman First Class Scott Fetterhoff, who manned radar gear aboard a Seahawk helicopter. U.S. Navy radar, used on ships, helicopters and jets, can detect objects as small as a periscope.

Cmdr. Edward Fossati, the commander of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 70, the Bush Strike Group’s sub-hunting helicopters, said Russian subs have gotten quieter but the cat-and-mouse game remained about even with advances in tracking: “We are much better at it than we were 20 years ago.”

That includes narrowing down where to look. The USS Bush had on board three Navy anti-sub oceanographers to help track the vessel.

Submarines look for ways to hamper sonar equipment by exploiting undersea terrain and subsurface ocean currents and eddies. Differences in water temperature and density can bend sound waves, making it difficult to pinpoint the source of a sound.

U.S. Navy computer systems analyze the ocean environment and make predictions about how sound will travel in a given patch of ocean. Using the sub’s last known position and expected destination, the oceanographers use the data to mark potential hiding places and determine where search teams should focus.

“It is a constant foot race,” said U.S. Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer. “And, as I say, ‘Game on.’ ”

On June 18, a Syrian Sukhoi jet fighter threatened U.S.-backed rebels advancing toward Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital. Fighter planes from the USS Bush warned away the Sukhoi. When the Syrian pilot ignored flares and radio calls, Lt. Cmdr. Michael Tremel shot down the Sukhoi. Moscow threatened to shoot down U.S. planes in western Syria.

Five days later, the submerged Krasnodar fired another salvo of cruise missiles. Russian officials said they hit an Islamic State ammunition depot.

“They were flexing their muscles,” said Rear Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, commander of the USS Bush strike group. U.S. officials wouldn’t say how long the Krasnodar remained hidden underwater, but Adm. Whitesell said the launch was watched by a French frigate and U.S. Navy aerial surveillance.

Flight-tracking companies don’t log military flights, but amateur plane watchers examining transponder data often catch clues. On July 2, with the USS Bush in a five-day port call in Haifa, Israel, a P-8 flew toward the Syrian coast, apparently searching the seas, according to amateur plane watchers.

On July 20, the flight-tracking data showed two P-8s flying south of Cyprus, close to six hours apart. The first plane was observed on flight-tracking sites making tight circles over the Mediterranean south of Cyprus, a flight pattern typical of a plane homing in on a submarine.

Capt. Ellis wouldn’t say if his P-8s had the Krasnodar in their sights.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, Moscow curtailed undersea operations. In 2000, the nuclear-powered Kursk sank with 118 sailors, a naval tragedy emblematic of the decline.

Russia’s military modernization program, announced in 2011, poured new money into its submarine program, allowing Russian engineers to begin moving ahead with newer, quieter designs.

When the Krasnodar was completed in 2015 at the St. Petersburg’s Admiralty Shipyards, Russia boasted it could elude the West’s most advanced sonar. NATO planners worry subs could cut trans-Atlantic communication cables or keep U.S. ships from reaching Europe in a crisis, as Nazi subs did in World War II.

“If you want to transport a lot of stuff, you have to do that by ship,” said NATO’s submarine commander, Rear Adm. Andrew Lennon. “And those ships are vulnerable to undersea threats.”

NATO’s military leaders have recommended reviving the Cold War-era Atlantic Command, dedicated to protecting sea lanes, alliance officials said, a proposal that defense ministers are expected to approve.

U.S. officials have said they believe that Moscow’s support of the Assad regime is partly for access to a strategic port in the eastern Mediterranean to resupply and rearm warships. The Syrian port of Tartus is expanding to include a Russian submarine maintenance facility, according to Turkish officials.

On July 30, the Krasnodar surfaced in the Mediterranean. The Krasnodar’s port call in Tartus, coinciding with Navy Day, a celebration of Russia’s maritime forces, marked the end of its hide-and-seek maneuvers with the USS Bush. On Aug. 9, the Krasnodar arrived in Crimea to join the Black Sea fleet, Russian officials said. Its mission appeared a success: Moscow showed it could continue unfettered strikes in Syria with its growing undersea fleet.

By then, the Bush carrier strike group had left the eastern Mediterranean for the coast of Scotland, where the U.S. and British navies, along with a Norwegian frigate, were conducting a joint exercise called Saxon Warrior. U.K. sailors boarded the USS Bush and heard lessons from the Krasnodar hunt.

Days before the exercise, Capt. Nicholson predicted another Russian sub would be nearby. “We are in the Russians’ backyard,” he said. “Prudence dictates we are ready for whatever or whomever might come out to watch.

A senior U.S. official later said a Russian sub had indeed shadowed the exercise, which ended Aug. 10. NATO officials wouldn’t comment.

A new nuclear-powered class of Russian submarines even more sophisticated than the Krasnodar, called the Yasen, are designed to destroy aircraft carriers. They are built with low-magnetic steel to better evade detection and can dive deeper than larger U.S. submarines

At the time of the U.S.-U.K. exercise, Russia said its only Yasen sub officially in operation, the Severodvinsk, was in the Barents Sea. But a second, more advanced Yasen sub, the Kazan, was undergoing sea trials.

Russian, NATO, and U.S. officials won’t say whether the Kazan was shadowing the U.S.-U.K. exercise in the North Atlantic.

On Aug. 17, a U.S. P-8, flying from a Norwegian base, conducted three days of operations, according to amateur aviation trackers. Canadian air force patrol planes also flew out of Scotland. On Aug. 26, French planes joined.

Allied officials said some of the flights were searching the waters for a Russian submarine. The USS Bush, however, was out of the hunt. On Aug. 21, she returned to port in Norfolk, Va.            (Wall Stree Journal)

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54 Egyptian Police Officers Killed In Ambush, Say Officials |The Republican News

By MENNA ZAKI

 

CAIRO — At least 54 policemen, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, were killed when a raid on a militant hideout southwest of Cairo was ambushed, officials said Saturday. The ensuing firefight was one of the deadliest for Egyptian security forces in recent years.

Two police officials told The Associated Press that the exchange of fire began late Friday in the al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza province, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) southwest of Cairo.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

The firefight began when security forces acting on intelligence moved against a militants’ hideout in the area. Backed by armored personnel carriers and led by senior counterterrorism officers, the police contingent drew fire and rocket-propelled grenades, according to the officials.

The officials said what happened next is not clear, but added that the force likely ran out of ammunition and that the militants captured several policemen and later killed them.

The officials said the police force appeared to have fallen into a carefully planned ambush set up by the militants. The death toll could increase, they added.

Those killed included two police brigadier-generals, a colonel and 10 lieutenant colonels.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry, which is in charge of police, announced a much lower death toll, saying in a statement read over state television that 16 were killed in the shootout. It added that 15 militants were killed or injured, later releasing photos of some of them.

People carry the coffin, covered with the an Egyptian flag, of police captain Ahmed Fayez who was killed in a gun battle in al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza province, about 135 kilometers (84 miles) southwest of Cairo, during his funeral at Al-Hosary mosque, in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. At least 54 policemen, including 20 officers and 34 conscripts, were killed when a raid on a militant hideout southwest of Cairo escalated into an all-out firefight, authorities said Saturday, in one of the single deadliest attacks by militants against Egyptian security forces in recent years. (AP Photo/Alaa Elkassas)© The Associated Press People carry the coffin, covered with the an Egyptian flag, of police captain Ahmed Fayez who was killed in a gun battle in al-Wahat al-Bahriya area in Giza province, about 135 kilometers (84…

The last time Egypt’s security forces suffered such a heavy loss of life was in July 2015 when militants from the extremist Islamic State group carried out a series of coordinated attacks, including suicide bombings, against army and police positions in the Sinai peninsula, killing at least 50. However, the army said only 17 soldiers and over 100 militants were killed.

An official statement issued Saturday said Friday’s incident would be investigated, suggesting that the heavy death toll may have been partially caused by incompetence, intelligence failures or lack of coordination. The officials said prosecutors will look into whether the police’s counterterrorism agents failed to inform the military of the operation or include them.

Two audio recordings purportedly by policemen who took part in the operation circulated online late Friday. One policeman, apparently using a two-way radio, was heard in the nearly two-minute recording pleading for help from a higher-ranking officer.

“We are the only ones injured, sir,” the policeman said. “We were 10 but three were killed. After their injury, they bled to death, sir.”

“They took all the weapons and ammunition,” he added, “We are now at the foot of a mountain.”

The second recording was purportedly by a policeman warning others. “I can’t identify any direction. Only planes can see us. Take care every one,” he was heard saying, adding that militants were pursuing them.

The authenticity of the recordings could not be immediately verified.

The heavy loss of life will likely lead to the restructuring and streamlining of the country’s counterterrorism effort, the officials said, with better coordination between the police, military and security agencies high on the list of objectives.

It’s also likely to be cited by government critics as a vindication of their long-held argument that suppressing freedoms, jailing opponents and cracking down on civil society does not, as the pro-government media insists, help in the war against terror.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which bore all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group. A local affiliate of the extremist group is spearheading an insurgency whose epicenter is in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.

The United States condemned the attack in a statement issued by State Department, offering “profound condolences to the families of the deceased and the government and people of Egypt… at this difficult time.”

The incident comes a few days after militants staged a brazen daylight attack in the heart of el-Arish, the largest city in the Sinai Peninsula, attacking a church and a nearby bank and reportedly making away with some $1 million. Seven were killed in the Monday attack.

Attacks by militants have significantly increased since the 2013 ouster by the military of an Islamist president, who was freely elected but whose one-year rule proved divisive. Attacks have also spread outside Sinai and into the country’s mainland and areas close to the porous Libyan border to the west.

The country has been under a state of emergency since April, following a spate of suicide bombings targeting minority Christians that have killed more than a 100 since December. The attacks were claimed by IS.

Egypt blamed the attacks on the Christians on militant cells trained and armed in neighboring Libya, where mostly Islamist militias, including extremist groups like IS, control territory or maintain a foothold in the vast, oil-rich nation. In response, Egypt has stepped up security along its desert border with Libya, where it supports an eastern-based army general fighting militant groups.

In July 2014, gunmen armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacked a border guard post in Egypt’s western desert in a brazen assault that killed 21 troops deployed close to the Libyan border.  (Associated Press)

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United Nations Group Wants Buhari To Veto Senate Proceedings |The Republican News

senate

The Nigerian Senate

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A United Nations Human rights and election monitoring group, People’s Right to Life Development Foundation (PERLDEF) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to veto any legislative proceeding involving contribution of Senator Bassey Akpan.
Senator Akpan, represented Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial Zone before he was sacked by a Federal High Court, on February 27, 2017.
In his place, the court  declared Bassey Etim as the validly elected candidate for the senatorial seat.
Estim was accordingly, ordered to be sworn in as the authentic Senator for the zone.
However, since the court order was made, the group said the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has refused to swear in Etim, the Senator-elect.
In a petition to President Buhari, dated October 17, 2017 and made available to our reporter,   the group wondered why a sacked Senator would continue to sit and take part in senate’s legislative process, even when his Certificate of Return had been withdrawn.
The petition was signed by  Ifot Nathaniel, National Chairman;  Ali Abacha, Secretary; and Chief Oni Emmanuel, Zonal Coordinator South-West.
The group complained to Buhari that “Despite, his sack, Bassey Akpan is still attending senate proceedings, thereby invalidating such proceeding and making them null and void.
“Your Excellency, such invalid proceedings as bills or resolutions for assent or implementation negate the principle of due process and impaired the constitutional right of Mr. President on assent” the group stated.
“In view of the threat that the violation may cause to the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act and Senate Standing Rule, we hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to veto any legislative process involving contribution of the erstwhile senator since March 6, 2017 as one cannot build something on nothing” the group wrote.
More so, PERLDEF urged President Buhari to order for the investigation and arrest of Akpan for illegally participating in the senate proceedings without Certificate of Return.
“Rather than execute the judgement delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction in the country, National Assembly continues to pay salary to Akpan. This is corruption and abuse of rule of law” the group insisted.   (The Sun)

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