Niger Army Kills 63 Terrorists In Attack On Military Base

 

Heavily armed assailants stormed a military base in Niger on Thursday killing 25 people and leading to fierce clashes that killed 63 “terrorists”, the defence ministry said, in an area where dozens died in a previous jihadist attack.

The raid near to the volatile frontier with Mali by attackers in vehicles and on motorbikes began in Chinegodar, in the western Tillaberi, at 01:00 pm (12H00 GMT), defence spokesman Colonel Souleymane Gazobi said on television.

“The response with the combined air support of the Niger air force and partners made it possible to strike and rout the enemy outside our boundaries,” he said. Partners often means US drones in the Sahel, or French fighter planes or drones in the country.

He put the toll at 25 dead and six injured on the “friendly side” and on the “enemy side 63 terrorists neutralised”.

The attack happened in the same region Tillaberi, also bordering Burkina Faso, where 71 Niger soldiers were killed in a December attack, claimed by the Islamic State group, that saw hundreds of jihadists storm a camp near the border with Mali with artillery.

It was the deadliest on Niger’s military since Islamist extremist violence began to spill over from neighbouring Mali in 2015, and dealt a blow to efforts to roll back jihadism in the Sahel.

That attack spurred leaders of the G5 Sahel nations to call for closer cooperation and international support in the battle against the Islamist threat.

Militant violence has spread across the vast Sahel region, especially in Burkina Faso and Niger, having started when armed Islamists revolted in northern Mali in 2012.

Thousands of civilians have also died and more than a million have been forced to flee their homes since the jihadist revolt began.

Analysts note an escalation in the jihadists’ operational tactics, which seem to have become bolder and more complex in recent months.

Ranged against them are the impoverished armies of Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, plus a 4,500-man French force in the Sahel and the 13,000-man UN force in Mali, MINUSMA.

The Sahel region of Africa lies to the south of the Sahara Desert and stretches across the breadth of the African continent.

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Army Clash With Bandits In Katsina, Kills Many

 

Troops of the 17 Brigade of the Nigerian Army on the 7th of January 2020 decimated some bandits in Magama Jibia Local Government Area of Kastina state.

The troops encountered the bandits while the miscreants were trying to carry out kidnap operations along Mallamawa in Jibia.

A heavy gun battle ensued, with many bandits being neutralized while some escaped with varying degrees of injuries.

Two soldiers were also injured in the exchange of fire.

In a statement by the army spokesman, Captain Kayode Owolabi, troops have dominated the area.

READ ALSO: Four Feared Dead, 21 Reportedly Abducted By Bandits In Niger

The army spokesman, however, revealed that two customs officers had been kidnapped prior to the encounter and invasion of some of the bandits’ hideouts.

He further stated that all other civilians who had been kidnapped within the period have been successfully returned to their respective homes.

According to him, troops are in pursuit of the fleeing bandits, with a view to rescuing the two customs officers.

Captain Owolabi advised the public to report any suspicious movement in their area to the security agencies for prompt action.

Iraq Military Says no Iraqi Casualties As Several Missiles Hit Bases

Members of Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi military network attempt to break into the US embassy in the capital Baghdad, on December 31, 2019, during a rally to vent anger over weekend air strikes that killed pro-Iran fighters in western Iraq. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP

 

A total of 22 missiles struck two bases housing US troops in Iraq but there were no Iraqi casualties, the military in Baghdad said Wednesday after the overnight attack.

The statement made no mention of Iran, which claimed that it had fired ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Asad airbase in retaliation for the US killing of a top Iranian general.

“Between 1:45 am and 2:15 am (2245 GMT and 2315 GMT) Iraq was hit by 22 missiles, 17 on the Ain al-Asad airbase and … five on the city of Arbil,” the Iraqi military said.

“There were no victims among the Iraqi forces,” it added but did not mention whether or not there were casualties among foreign troops.

READ ALSO: Netanyahu Warns Of ‘Resounding Blow’ If Iran Attacks Israel

Ain al-Asad is the largest airbase where US-led coalition troops are based.

Arbil is the capital of the Kurdish region, and a top official from the regional government said no American military base or US consulate was hit there.

The official also said there were no casualties in Arbil.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday took to Twitter following the strike to say an “assessment of casualties & damages taking place now”.

“So far, so good!” he wrote.

It was the first time Iran directly targeted a US installation with ballistic missiles.

Over the last two months, US troops and even the embassy in Baghdad had been targeted in more than a dozen rocket attacks that Washington blamed on pro-Tehran groups, but none had been claimed.

VIDEO: Troops Of Operation Lafiya Dole Honour Their Fallen Heroes

 

Gallant Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have held a ceremony to honour their fallen heroes who paid the supreme price to ensure that Nigeria remains an indivisible nation.

In a post made via Twitter, the Army stated that the ceremony was part of events at the West African Social Activities(WASA) held at Gwoza Borno State on the 30th of December 2019.

Below is the tweet as published by the Nigeria Army via its official handle (@HQNigerianArmy).

READ ALSO: Nigerian Air Force Redeploys 76 Senior Officers

Meanwhile, several Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) have been killed and some structures in their camp at Abulam in the Sambisa Forest area of Borno State have been destroyed in airstrikes conducted on the 31st of December 2019, by the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

The mission according to the airforce spokesperson Air commodore Ibikunle Daramola was executed to mark the commencement of Operation RATTLESNAKE 2, an Air Interdiction Operation aimed at taking out some identified insurgent camps and logistics facilities in order to further unhinge the terrorists’ centre of gravity and diminish their fighting capability.

He adds that Abullam was selected for an attack on Day One of the Operation based on credible intelligence reports indicating that the terrorists had resumed using the once-abandoned settlement as a staging point from where they launch attacks against their own ground troops’ locations.

Accordingly, the ATF detailed its attack aircraft, supported by an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, to attack designated compounds within the settlement.

The jets he adds took turns to engage the target in successive passes leading to the destruction of some of the structures as well as the killing of several terrorists.

Buratai Asks Troops To Redouble Efforts In Fighting Insurgents

A file photo of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.

 

 

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, says the Nigerian Army is consolidating on the gains of several years of intensive the fight against insurgency and tackle the security challenges confronting the nation.

He made the remarks on Saturday while commissioning some projects at the 23 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Gibson Halo Cantonment in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

Buratai, therefore, urged the troops to diligently uphold and perform their responsibilities of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.

He also challenged the troops in various theatres of operation to remain steadfast and continue to discharge their duties professionally.

The army chief commissioned three key projects which include an entrepreneurship and skills acquisition centre for women and youths in the barracks and host communities, the Accident and Emergency Unit at the Military Clinic, as well as a foundation laying of a perimeter fence in the barracks.

He applauded the 23 Brigade for establishing the Skills Acquisition Centre and other projects being commissioned.

Buratai said the projects were in line with his vision of repositioning the force for greater performance.

He affirmed that the army has continued to place premium on the welfare of its troops and their families, hence the intervention in such areas.

Buratai, however, urged the troops to redouble their efforts and rededicate themselves to service as they collectively defend the territorial integrity of the nation.

He was accompanied to the barrack by the General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Major General Nuhu Angbazo, and other senior army officers.

Governor Umaru Fintiri who was represented at the event by his deputy, Crowther Seth, commended the military in securing the state.

Major General Angbazo, on his part, believes the projects will enhance the welfare of the troops.

In his welcome address, the Commander of 23 Brigade, Brigadier General Sani Mohammed, spokes about some of the courses to be taken at the skills acquisition centre.

The transit accommodation is expected to assist in facilitating the general administration of large number of officers and soldiers coming to the North East, who use the cantonment as a transit camp.

Other dignitaries at the event included traditional and religious leaders, state government officials and politicians, as well as some of the students that would be admitted into the Skills acquisition centre.

Police, Army Trap Robbers In Abuja Bank

A photo of the bank’s entrance.

 

A gang of armed thieves were trapped inside a new generation bank in Mpape area of Abuja, hours after attempting to rob the branch on Saturday.

Men of the Police and Nigerian Army barricaded the entrance, forcing the robbers to remain indoor for hours.

Bystanders at the scene.

Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Mariam Yusuf, has confirmed the arrest of four of the robbers while one was killed in an exchange of gunfire with the Police.

Investigation Ongoing To Identify Attackers Of Jonathan’s Home – Army

A file of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

 

 

The Nigerian Army has commenced an investigation into the attack on the residence of former President Goodluck Jonathan in Otuoke, Bayelsa State.

The spokesman for Operation Delta Safe, Major Jonah Unuakhalu, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

He explained that some gunmen attacked a military gunboat deployed close to the house of the former President in the afternoon while the soldiers were on duty.

READ ALSO: Arrest Attackers Of Jonathan’s Home, PDP Tells FG

The troops, according to Unuakhalu, repelled the attack while some of the assailants escaped with gunshot wounds.

“However, during the attack, one soldier paid the supreme price and another wounded in action.” He said.

The Operation Delta Safe spokesman noted that the wounded soldier has been evacuated to the hospital and responding to treatment.

He advised residents in the community to go about their lawful businesses, saying the security of lives and properties was priority to the operation during yuletide and beyond.

The attack on former President Jonathan’s house was condemned by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) among others.

Counterinsurgency: Force Commander Visits Soldiers In Hospital

 

The Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force, Major General Ibrahim Manu Yusuf, on Thursday, visited soldiers of the Task Force, of Cameroonian, Chadian, Nigerien and Nigerian nationalities, who are recuperating from injuries sustained in the ongoing counterinsurgency operations in the Lake Chad Area.

Addressing the affected soldiers in a Specialist Hospital in N’Djamena, Major General Yusuf noted that they fought for a good cause for which they and their families should be very proud of.

“The MNJTF is very proud of your sacrifices and is committed to ensuring that you have the best medicare that will guarantee your full recovery,” he assured.

The soldiers who were visibly inspired by the visit of the Force Commander and his principal staff officers, said they were optimistic of their ability to quickly re-join their colleagues in the various sectors of operation, once they have fully recovered.

Major General Yusuf thanked the hospital management for the expert care being given to the soldiers, noting that the MNJTF will continue to collaborate with the management for optimal healthcare delivery for the soldiers.

He also commended the MNJTF Medical Team for what he described as their untiring efforts and professionalism in the efforts to ensure that MNJTF personnel remain healthy.

Viral Video Of Soldiers’ Execution Is Fake, Says Army

13 Soldiers, Police Officer Killed In Boko Haram Ambush
File photo

 

The Nigerian Army has described a purported viral video in which some men held hostage in an open field were executed as false.

In a statement on Thursday, the acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, stressed that the video was doctored.

He said, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral, unsubstantiated and apparently fabricated video clip circulating on the social media portraying the stage-managed/so-called capture and killing of some Nigerian soldiers by Boko Haram terrorists on the 10th of December 2019.

“The Nigerian Army wishes to emphatically state that there was no incident that involved the ‘capture and killing of tens and tens of Nigerian soldiers on the 10th of December 2019’ as mischievously and wickedly portrayed in the video.”

[READ ALSO] Rights Violation: We Are Not Answerable To You, Nigerian Govt Tells UK, US, EU

Although, Preliminary observation of the clip, according to Musa, revealed that it was doctored and that the entire event captured in the footage was not an occurrence that took place at any point in time within the shores of the country.

“To this end, the Nigerian Army is hereby calling on the members of the general public and indeed personnel of the Nigerian Army, especially those in the North East theatre of operation to disregard the sinister,” he added.

The army spokesman who insisted that the video was inciting and divisive, attributed its origin to the outlawed indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) group.

He condemned the call by one Simon Ekpa who he purported to be the principal actor in the clip that soldiers of the South East extraction presently serving in the North East should desert the army and return to Biafra.

According to him, the call on the people of the South East not to join the Nigerian Army is an obvious indication of the essence and objective of the masterminds of the video which should be discountenanced by the public.

Colonel Musa insisted that army remains committed to sustaining the war against terrorism and would not be deterred by any propagandist activity.

Over 60 Killed In Niger Military Camp Attack

 

 

Jihadists attacked a Niger military camp near the border with Mali with artillery and mortars, killing more than 60 people, a security source said on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s attack in Inates in the western Tillaberi region was the deadliest on Niger’s military since the armed forces began fighting Islamist militants in 2015.

“The attack killed more than 60,” the source said. “The terrorists bombarded the camp with shelling and mortars. The explosions from ammunition and fuel were the cause of the heavy toll.”

The source did not say which group was responsible for the deadly assault.

READ ALSO: Woman Killed, 73 Injured In US Military Base Attack

Niger forces are fighting against Boko Haram militants in the southeast border with Nigeria and jihadists allied with the Islamic State in the west near Mali and Libya.

Three soldiers and 14 militants were also killed on Monday in an attack on another army post in Agando in the western Tahoua region, the defence ministry said.

Heavily armed “terrorists” in a dozen 4×4 vehicles led the attack early Monday morning on the military post in Tahoua, the ministry statement said.

Niger is part of a five-nation anti-jihadist task force known as the G5, set up in 2014 with Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Chad.

Thousands of civilians and soldiers have died in violence across the vast region, known as the Sahel, which began when armed Islamists revolted in northern Mali in 2012.

At Least Four Killed In DR Congo Anti-UN Protests

 

At least four demonstrators were killed on Monday in violence during protests in eastern DR Congo against UN peacekeepers, the military investigators told AFP.

“There were four deaths during the day,” military prosecutor Kumbu Ngoma said. “Ten civilians were wounded and three Congolese military were also hurt.”

Crowds defied warning shots fired by Congolese forces and stormed a UN camp, which had apparently been evacuated, in an angry protest over killings by an armed militia in the eastern town of Beni.

Over 500 Boko Haram Fighters Surrender

 

The Nigerian Army says it is committed to restoring total peace to Nigeria’s north-east region ravaged by Boko Haram fighters.

This is according to the Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Major General Bamidele Shafa, on Friday who insisted that the military has recorded steady progress in the war against insurgency, although the fight seemed to have lingered.

He revealed that over a thousand of Boko Haram fighters have willingly laid down their arms and embraced the amnesty programme of the Federal Government.

Shafa’s remarks came shortly after hundreds of repentant insurgents numbering 586 were brought to the Gombe International Airport, the largest since the operation started in 2015.

 

The former Boko Haram fighters were later taken to the Operations Safe Corridor camp in the Malam Sidi area of the state.

At the camp, the repentant insurgents are to undergo de-radicalisation and re-orientation processes, as well as various vocational training and psycho-social support programmes before being re-integration into the society.

Some of the former Boko Haram members, Musa Ibrahim and Alkali Kukawa, told Channels Television why and how they found themselves in the group.

Ibrahim narrated that some terrorists invaded his village and threatened to kill his parents should he refuse to join them.

“That how I joined but after spending years with them, we notice serious divisions among the leaders which kept us wondering if this is of God and finally when we got a window, we surrendered to the Nigerian military,” he explained.

On his part, Kukawa who disclosed that he was captured with his son said he never participated in any terrorist attack and has been praying to be reunited with his family.

He said, “They conquered our village and forced us away.

“Since they took us away, I have been praying for deliverance and finally it came when we got the window of escape, I and my son trekked for 11 days before we could board a car that brought us to Yobe State where we surrendered to the security forces.”