Man Stabbed To Death As London’s Notting Hill Carnival Returns

Performers in costume take part in the carnival on the main Parade day of the Notting Hill Carnival in west London on August 29, 2022.  AFP

 

London’s Notting Hill Carnival was marred by murder and hundreds of arrests, police said on Tuesday, as the world-famous party returned in person for the first time since 2019.

A 21-year-old man died after being stabbed, while police said they introduced emergency stop-and-search powers in the area due to “a number of violent incidents and serious stabbings”, the latest in a spate of knife-crime incidents in the capital.

“At around 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) on Monday, August 29 officers became aware of a stabbing in Ladbroke Grove,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

“Officers provided emergency first aid to the victim — a 21-year-old man.

“He was taken to a west London hospital where, despite the best efforts of medical staff, he was pronounced dead.”

London police recorded 11,122 knife-crime offences in the year until March 2022, a 9.8 percent increase compared to last year, according to official figures.

At the carnival, officers made 209 arrests, including 46 for assault, 33 for possession of an offensive weapon and eight sexual assaults, said the force.

Alison Heydari, Commander of Local Policing, said early on Tuesday that “the atmosphere over the past two days has been largely positive” but that on Monday evening “we saw a number of violent incidents”.

The Notting Hill Carnival — one of the world’s largest street festivals — was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The three-day celebration of British-Caribbean culture traces its roots back to the 1950s after the first surge in arrivals from former British colonies post-World War II.

Feathered dancers, steel bands and earth-shaking sound systems feature in the vibrant celebration held over the August bank holiday weekend.

Six Killed As Car Rams Into Carnival Crowd In Belgium

People gather near a gymnasium where witnesses and relatives of victims are received near the site where a car crashed into a crowd of early morning carnival-goers killing four people and injuring 12 people seriously in Strepy-Bracquegnies, on March 20, 2022.  Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 

A car ploughed into a crowd of early morning carnival-goers in Belgium on Sunday, killing six people and injuring dozens of others, authorities said, as they ruled out an act of terrorism for now.

The tragedy took place around 5:00 am (0400 GMT) as the carnival of Strepy-Bracquegnies, a district in the former coal-mining town of La Louviere, was getting underway.

“At this stage of the investigation, we know that a vehicle slammed into a group (of carnival goers) and that there are six dead and 26 injured, including 10 people whose life is in danger,” prosecutor Damien Verheyen told reporters at the town’s city hall.

The main suspects, who were arrested, were born in 1988 and 1990, he said, adding that terrorism was not at this stage considered a motive.

Verheyen said the two came from La Louviere, a town near the French border in Belgium’s rust belt, and are not known to authorities for similar acts.

Belgian towns and villages host many street carnivals around the season of Lent, with the parades in Binche and Aalst the best known internationally.

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‘Folklore To Horror’

People gather near a gymnasium where witnesses and relatives of victims are received near the site where a car crashed into a crowd of early morning carnival-goers killing four people and injuring 12 people seriously in Strepy-Bracquegnies, on March 20, 2022. Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP

 

Like Binche, the carnival of Strepy-Bracquegnies involves participants dressed up as “Gilles”, extravagantly attired comical figures who are “called out” to the parade in the early hours.

La Louvriere mayor Jacques Gobert said there were 150 to 200 people participating in the carnival’s pre-dawn prologue, including the “Gilles” in their garb.

When they reached a road, “a car coming from behind at high speed literally pulverised a large number of people,” he said at the news conference.

Witnesses described a horrific scene of a car that apparently willfully drove into the carnival-goers that included children.

Fabrice Collingnon, a Belgian TV presenter, told AFP the procession was joyfully underway when in a “snap of the fingers we went from fun and folklore to absolute horror.”

The car seemed to “deliberately enter into the pack,” said Collingnon.

Another witness, Theo, told RTBF news he saw a car that moved “very fast and didn’t brake”.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo deplored the “horrible news” on Twitter, saying “a community gathering to celebrate has been hit in the heart.”

De Croo and other ministers rushed to the scene along with Belgium’s King Philippe who met first responders in the Strepy-Bracquegnies sporting hall, where the morning’s carnival procession began.

The RIAAL La Louvriere football team said that one of the victims was a steward at the club and that a match scheduled later on Sunday was cancelled.

“Words fail us,” the team wrote on its Facebook page.

In neighbouring France, just a few kilometres from the scene of the tragedy, President Emmanuel Macron “assured the Belgian prime minister of his support and friendship after this tragedy”, his office said.

In February 2020, a man rammed his car through a carnival procession in Germany, injuring dozens of bystanders including children.

Germany and other countries at the time had been on high alert for car ramming attacks since December 2016, when an Islamic State group sympathiser ploughed a truck through a Christmas market leaving 12 dead.

German towns had seen several such attacks since, with most carried out by people who were found to have psychological issues.

AFP

Four Dead In Belgium As Car Hits Early Morning Carnival Crowd

A Belgian Flag.

 

A car crashed into a crowd of early morning carnival-goers in Belgium on Sunday, killing four people and injuring 20 people seriously, authorities said.

“A car driving at high speed ran into the crowd that had gathered to attend (the carnival),” La Louviere mayor Jacques Gobert told Belga news agency.

The incident took place at about 5:00 am (0400 GMT) at the carnival of Strepy-Bracquegnies, a district of the former industrial town of La Louviere, authorities said.

“This Sunday morning, a vehicle collided with… a group of around 100 people which had just left the sports hall to go back up to the centre of the village,” the mayor’s office said in a statement.

The public prosecutor’s office did not wish to communicate on the case for the time being, but will speak later in the day, it said.

Authorities are to hold a press conference at 11:00 am in La Louviere.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo deplored the “horrible news” in which “a community gathering to celebrate has been hit in the heart”, he wrote on Twitter.

De Croo was to visit the scene later on Sunday accompanied by Belgium’s King Philippe, the prime minister’s office said.

Belgian towns and villages host many street carnivals around the season of Lent, with the parades in Binche and Alost the most known, internationally.

Like Binche, the carnival of Strepy-Bracquegnies involves participants dressed up as “Gilles”, comical figures who are “called out” to the parade in the early hours.

“I was walking by,” one witness, Theo, told RTBF news.

“I turned around and saw a car running into the troop. It came very fast and didn’t brake. It continued and it took a girl 100 metres further,” he said.

In neighbouring Germany, a man in February 2020 rammed his car through a carnival procession, injuring dozens of bystanders including children.

Germany and other countries at the time had been on high alert for car ramming attacks since December 2016, when an Islamic State group sympathiser ploughed a truck through a Christmas market leaving 12 dead.

Germany has seen several such attacks since, with most carried out by people who were found to have psychological issues.

Two Killed During Christmas Carnival In Benue

A photo showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.
An image showing the map of Benue, a state in North-Central Nigeria.

 

No fewer than two persons were reported killed in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State on Christmas day after a policeman allegedly shot into the crowd during a music carnival.

Channels Television gathered that the music carnival was organised by a young millionaire at Ochacho Avenue in Otukpo where popular musician, David Adeleke, also known as Davido, was billed to perform.

Sources from the area confirmed that the unfortunate incident took place at the palatial residence of the young millionaire in Otukpo town.

The event was yet to commence around 11:00 pm when sounds of gunshots resonated within the premises, leaving people scampering for safety.

It was later gathered that the shots might have been fired by one of the policemen believed to be on duty.

“The gunshots triggered a stampede which caused all of us to run out of the venue for safety. In the process of running, I saw two persons in the pool of their blood; a male and a female,” the source said.

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“The sound of gunshots made me run towards the gate in fear as I did not know what was happening.

“Several other people also took to their heels; although it was not easy for most people to identify the location of their vehicles.

“Several onlookers stood aloof at the rail crossing and at You Road and Ibadan street in utter surprise.”

The Council Chairman of Otukpo Local Government, George Alli, who confirmed the report disclosed that a young lady and young man died in the incident.

Alli however said that the organizer of the music carnival flouted federal and state governments’ directive banning social gathering due to the second wave of COVID-19.

“Yes, is true there was an incident and two people died; a young lady and a young man died. Their corpses have been deposited in the hospital morgue,” he said.

“I have spoken to the Area Commander and the Division Police Officer and they are investigating the incident. The gathering in the first place is not proper because the federal government has directed that there should be no social gathering and it was followed by the State government. There should be compliance with the directives.”

World Cup Opening Ceremony Was Flat – Analyst

Nnamdi Obanya,Nigerian Sports Journalist, Nnamdi Obanya, believes that the Brazil World Cup Opening Ceremony was bright, colourful but boring.

He was a guest on Channels Television where he spoke about the mundial less than 24 hours after it kicked off at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo.

He cited several factors that created the view that this was not a befitting opening for the competition of such magnitude. He said that while the theme song had failed to impress, the sound problem experienced during the performance also added to his disappointment.

“It was Brazil, we expected all the capoeira, and carnival atmosphere…It was a very flat opening ceremony.

“South Africa’s Opening Ceremony made this look like a high school play. It was fantastic and this was flat”, he said.

The compensation for him, however, was that immediately after the ceremony, “the real fireworks” started with the hosts, Brazil defeating Croatia in an exciting and tense opening match.

The Real Super Eagles

Obanya also responded to Nigerian Attacker, Ahmed Musa, who was quoted in the dailies to have promised that Nigerians would see the real Super Eagles when the competition starts in Brazil.

“They are just saying the right things. We’ve had Emenike and Mikel fight, we’ve heard that Ahmed Musa is not fit to play, there is a lot of news coming that is not too good.

“Perhaps they’re trying to keep their spirit up. They are doing the right thing and saying the right things, if they can translate that unto the pitch, all good for them, but we will wait and see if the real Super Eagles as they claim would show up.”

Obanya, who admitted that he had always maintained blind loyalty towards Nigeria, noted that if he would be analytical and pensive, he was really worried.

He also confirmed the unavailability the team’s regular left-back, Elderson Echiejile, whom he said had already been replaced by Ejike Uzoenyi, who has already landed in Brazil and taken over the number 3 jersey vacated by Echiejile after the injury that ruled him out of the competition.

“Realistically, we can qualify from the group; we’ll most likely qualify second behind Argentina and we’ll be immediately thrown up against France. That’s a free scoring, very fast and young France. I haven’t seen France this agile since France 98”, he feared.

Obanya also provided expert analysis of the opening match between Brazil and Croatia. He believes that while Croatia did well by taking the fight to Brazil, they played to the strength of the Brazilian defence.

He predicts a very difficult World Cup whose winner would be hard to predict as all past winners are present at the tournament and gunning for glory.