Egypt Army Reports Killing 83 Militants In North Sinai

 

Egypt’s army said Monday it had killed 83 militants in clashes in the restive Sinai Peninsula, where an Islamic State group affiliate has waged a long-running insurgency.

Security forces “eliminated 77 takfiris”, referring to Sunni Muslim extremists, who were found with stacks of weapons and ammunition in north and central Sinai, the army said.

Six other “highly dangerous” militants were killed in shootouts in the region, the army said in a statement on a nationwide anti-militant operation between September 28 and November 4.

Three soldiers were killed or wounded in the fighting, the statement added, without elaborating.

About 61 “criminals, wanted individuals and suspects” were arrested, it said.

Security forces also destroyed dozens of hideouts and vehicles as part of the ongoing operation, according to the statement.

Egypt has for years been fighting an insurgency in North Sinai that escalated after the military’s 2013 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following mass protests.

In February 2018, the army and police launched a nationwide operation against militants, mainly focused on North Sinai.

The operation also targets other areas including the Western Desert along the porous border with Libya.

The latest army figures brings the death toll of suspected militants in the Sinai region to more than 830.

About 60 security personnel have been killed since the start of the offensive.

Following the death of IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi late last month, the group’s North Sinai affiliate has pledged allegiance to his successor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi.

62 Al Shabaab Militants Killed Following US Military Air Strikes

 

About 62 militants from the jihadist al-Shabab movement have been killed following six air strikes by the US Military in Somalia. 

The US military said Monday that four strikes on Saturday killed 34 militants and another two on Sunday killed 28.

READ ALSO: Six Killed, 100 Injured As Fire Guts Hospital In Mumbai

The air attacks, in a coastal region south of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, were the deadliest in the country since November last year when the US said it had killed 100 militants.

According to a statement by the US Africa Command, all six airstrikes were “conducted to prevent al-Shabab from using remote areas as a safe haven to plot, direct, inspire, and recruit for future attacks,”.

AFP

Ex-Militants In Delta Protest At Govt House Over Jobs

 

Former militants from several communities in Delta State have laid siege to the Government House protesting over an alleged attempt by some contractors to take over their jobs.

The youths, under the aegis of Host Communities of Nigeria (Oil & Gas), who are captured in the Federal Government’s amnesty programme, marched out on Friday in their hundreds with placards to express their displeasure on the issue.

They barricaded the Government House, preventing movement in and out of the premises while chanting solidarity songs and calling on the governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to come to their rescue.

“Your excellency, we feel that this is the point at which you, as the chief security officer of our dear state, must rise up to take steps to nip this madness in the bud to avert the impending danger that this greedy set of ‘soldiers of fortune’ is about to impose on not just our communities, but also our dear state.

“You may wonder how this is our concern. It has become our concern because we have sat down to imagine what the picture will look like when ocean marine successfully takes our jobs away from us, using either traditional rulers or president generals of our communities as fronts, how many youths with bustling capacities and abilities will be rendered jobless,” they said.

The state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Peter Mrakpor, who addressed the protesters said their grievances would be communicated to the governor.

Over 200 Militants Repent, Surrender Arms In Imo

Notorious militants on Monday surrendered their arms and ammunition in Owerri, Imo State capital.

The repentant militants surrendered their arms and ammunition to military officers at the Freedom Square in Owerri. Among the ammunition surrendered was a rocket launcher.

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha and Commissioner of Police, Brigade commander 34 artillery brigade were present to witness the militants surrender their arms.

Egypt Confirms Death Of Leading Jihadist In Air Strikes

egypt, head of journalists' union, jail

Egypt’s interior ministry confirmed on Thursday the death of one of the country’s most wanted militants in air strikes late October against a group behind a deadly ambush on policemen.

Former army officer turned jihadist Emad al-Din Abdel Hamid had commanded the group that killed at least 16 policemen in an October 20 Western Desert ambush and later died in military air strikes, the ministry said in a statement.

The group had been organised in the Libyan militant stronghold of Derna, the ministry added.

A previously unknown jihadist group calling itself Ansar al-Islam — or “Supporters of Islam”– had said one of its leaders, Abdel Hamid, was later killed in the air strikes.

The ministry said police had captured Libyan jihadist Abdel Rahim Mohamed Abdullah al-Mismari who survived the air strikes that killed 15 jihadists, including Abdel Hamid, days after the attack.

“The group…was formed under the leadership of Emad al-Din Ahmed Mahmoud Abdel Hamid, who died in the air strikes targeting the group” that carried out the October 20 ambush, the statement said.

It added that the group was involved in a massacre of Coptic Christians south of Cairo in May, although the Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for that attack.

Egyptian police had for years been seeking Abdel Hamid.

He is believed to have joined a fellow officer, Hisham el-Ashmawy, in Libya following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

Ashmawy, who split with an Egyptian jihadist group that claimed allegiance to the Islamic State group in 2014, is thought to be aligned with Al-Qaida.

Egypt believes the militants have been plotting attacks from the jihadist stronghold of Derna.

Since Egypt’s army removed Morsi from power in 2013, extremist groups have increased their attacks on the military and police.

Authorities are fighting against the Egyptian branch of the Islamic State group in the north of the Sinai peninsula, over 500 kilometres away from the scene of the October ambush.

AFP

We Are Ready To Engage Niger Delta Avengers – FG

militants
FILE PHOTO: Niger Delta Militants

The Federal government has said it is ready to engage with Niger Delta Avengers and other groups if they make their interests known.

This was said by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Usani Uguri, after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, today, November 6.

He also debunks allegations that the government is not keeping its promises in the Niger Delta but called for patience.

READ ALSO: Why FG Is Recruiting Niger Delta Youths To Monitor Pipelines – Minister

It will be recalled that Niger Delta Avengers threatened to resume fresh attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria after they called off the ceasefire with the Federal Government on Friday, November 3, more than a year after it announced an end to attacks on oil installations and facilities in the oil-rich region of Nigeria.

Elders of communities in the region including, Chief Edwin Clark, elders in Gbaramatu Kingdom, have urged Niger Delta Avengers to sheath their swords and halt the threats to resume attacks on oil facilities in the region.

Niger Delta Avengers Urged To Be Patient With FG

Niger Delta Avengers Urged To Be Patient With FG
File photo

 

The Niger Delta Avengers has been urged to call its members to sheath their swords, hours after the militant group issued threats to resume attacks on oil facilities in the region.

One of the elders in the region and the spokesperson for Gbaramatu Kingdom, Godspower Gbenekama, made the appeal after a closed-door meeting with the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuaro, on Saturday in Asaba.

READ ALSO: Niger Delta Avengers Cancels Ceasefire, Plans ‘Brutal’ Attacks

Gbenekama asked the group to give the Federal Government more time to fulfil its promises to the people of the region.

He, however, blamed the government for not keeping its promises to the requests made by the people which he said was contained in the 16-point agenda of the Pan Niger Delta Elders’ Forum (PANDEF).

“The issues are not leadership issues, PANDEF articulated the issues and as at then, everybody agreed,” he said. If the Federal Government has started meeting those demands one after the other, these threats would not have resurfaced.

“The Ogoni cleanup for instance, take off the Maritime University which the Vice President disclosed that N2bn has been approved but up till now, we have nothing.”

Gbenekama also warned that the threats must not be treated with levity and urged the government to move swiftly to avert what he described as the ‘dangers’ ahead.

He said, “Threats like these are not empty ones, the Federal Government must, therefore, do the needful by addressing some of these concerns.

“We cannot do much, the only thing we can do is beg these faceless youths to be patient with the Federal Government.”

Suspected Militants Kidnap Four Britons In Delta

Suspected Militants Kill Army Captain, Six Others In Ikorodu
File photo
Suspected militants have kidnapped four British nationals in southern Nigeria, police and community leaders said on Wednesday.

The four had been providing “free medical care and religious activities” in the Burutu area of Delta state, said Chief Theo Fakama, from the local Enukorowa community.

Fakama said locals were “saddened” by the kidnapping as the victims had “brought succour to residents of the community for the past three years”.

The spokesman for Delta state police, Andrew Aniamaka, confirmed the kidnapping, which happened on October 13.

“The victims are of British nationality, two of whom are a couple, and have been rendering humanitarian services in the area for a while.

“But unfortunately, they didn’t let the authorities know of their presence in the area all this while.

“There is a militant group that has been operating in the area and we believe they are the ones behind the abduction.

“Immediately the militants struck, they whisked the victims to the interior regions of the creek where we believe they are being held for the past five days.”

It was unclear whether any contact had been made with the kidnappers or the motive for the seizure, he added.

Kidnapping for ransom has long been a risk in Nigeria’s south, where high-profile individuals and their families are a frequent target for criminal gangs.

Victims are usually released after a few days once payment is made.

On October 14, the Vatican said an Italian priest was kidnapped by gunman just outside Benin City, which is the capital of Edo state and neighbours Delta state to the north.

Delta state commissioner of police Zanna Ibrahim told reporters in the state capital, Asaba, on Tuesday: “An anti-kidnapping team is already on the trail of the suspects.”

He suggested the abduction could be linked to a recent military operation against violent crime, which has seen an increase in troops in southern Nigeria.

AFP

Militant Attacks: Isawo Residents Seek Govt. Intervention

Some residents of Isawo community in the Ikorodu area of Lagos state, south-west Nigeria, have asked the government to assist in curbing the spate of attacks by militants in their community.

This is coming as the area came under attack of some militants on Sunday.

Speaking during an on -the-spot assessment by the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Sadamu Ibrahim, a resident explained that the militants who have returned to the creeks, attack, kidnap and dispose people of their belongings.

Resident of Isawo Community

“People are dying here, several lives have been lost. we want the government to come and rescue us by mounting a barrack. Because there was a time we had a challenge and the military men came, they responded to our call but they told us that they are not Naval officers and they can’t go through the water except we can bring the Navy to support them.”

Currently, most of the residents are said to have moved out of their homes for fear of further attacks.

Meanwhile, the commander in charge of the Ikorodu area, recounted the ordeal of the security operatives in the hand of militants who had invaded Isawo community in the early hours of Sunday.

According to him, the Police and the Military had responded to the call by members of the community but the militants laid an ambush, leading to the killings.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police, however noted that his visit was part of preventive measures taken to access the situation and strategise to secure the place in order to avoid a recurrence.

Wike Pledges To Create Jobs For Repentant Cultists, Militants In Rivers

Rivers, Nyesom Wike, Militants, CultistsThe Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says his administration will create jobs for repentant cultists and militants who accepted the state government’s amnesty programme.

Governor Wike said that the government would protect all the repentant cultists and militants as long as they live within the law.

He made the pledge while flagging off the construction of the Rumuji-Ibaa-Obele-Isiokpo road and bridge that run from Emohua to Ikwerre Local Government Area (LGA) of the state.

We Are Providing Jobs

The governor said that the success of the amnesty programme has made it possible for the state government to entrench rural development across the communities of the state in south-south Nigeria.

“Without the success of the amnesty programme, we wouldn’t have been here to execute this project. I thank the youths for accepting the state government’s offer of amnesty.

“The government will protect all of you who accepted the amnesty programme.

“We are providing jobs for you so that you’ll have work to do and preoccupy yourselves legally,” he stated.

Governor Wike noted that the Rumuji-Ibaa-Obele-Isiokpo road and bridge would be completed on schedule, stressing that his administration would fund it diligently.

He urged the contractor to employ workers from the benefitting communities, so that the people can key into the process of development.

I Will Serve My People

The governor said that he has not travelled to Abuja over the last three months because he needed to be at home to deliver on his promises.

“I have not been to Abuja for three months. What will I go there to do? The people there did not elect me. I need to be here where they elected me to work for my people.

“I am here to serve my people and I will serve my people very well. That is why when they come with their security, the people resist them.

“If I am not connected to the people, who will resist them?” the governor asked.

Mr Wike posited that the only way those fighting against Rivers State would have peace in their respective states was for them to remove their hands from the state.

The state’s Commissioner of Works, Mr Bathuel Harrison, expressed hope that the 16 kilometres road would boost the economy of the area.

The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Emohua LGA, John Wokoma, thanked the governor for his commitment to the development of Emohua and Ikwerre local government areas.

Oil Facility Attacks Destroy People’s Livelihood And Future – Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo on attacks on Oil Facility in Niger Delta
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday expressed displeasure with attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, saying that such damages are a destruction of facilities meant to help the people of the region.

Professor Osinbajo made the observation at a meeting with a delegation of Urhobo leaders at the Presidential Villa.

He said: “So much damage is being done. Governments will come and go, but this damages will ultimately destroy people’s livelihoods, aspirations and their future.

“Nobody else anywhere in the world will destroy the facilities meant to help them, there is no benefit whatsoever from the destruction”.

While maintaining that the Buhari administration would continue its outreach to leaders and groups in the Niger Delta in seeking peaceful solution to the crisis, Vice President Osinbajo called for understanding, especially on the part of the leaders of the region stressing that destruction and damage “does not lead to anything good”.

What Happened To The Monies?

Regarding the opened channels of communication and negotiation with the Niger Delta leaders and representatives, the Vice President assured them that President Muhammadu Buhari had shown exemplary leadership and was someone that could be trusted once he gave his word.

“He is quiet, but fiercely determined, once he makes up his mind and gives his word,” the VP observed, encouraging the Niger Delta people to work with the President.

Professor Osinbajo commended the leadership and understanding of the Urhobo Leaders of Thought led by its president, Mr Tuesday Onoge and the APC’s Gubernatorial Candidate in the 2015 elections, Olorogun Ortega Emerhor.

Earlier in his comments, Mr Onoge lamented that if the money sent to the Niger Delta in the last 16 years were judiciously spent, the people of the region would have benefitted. He then asked rhetorically “What happened to these monies?”.

Pledging support to the Federal Government, the leader of the delegation said the group had condemned oil and gas installations vandalism in the Niger Delta in its entirety and offered to assist in furthering peace in the area.

He also stated that the group supported the anti-corruption efforts of the Buhari administration.

Militancy had re-surged in the Niger Delta last year, with several attacks on oil facilities claimed by a group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers.

The are pushing for the emancipation of the region and more control of the natural resources in the region.

Recently, some leaders from the region presented a list of what the government should pursue in the region to regain the residents confidence and calm agitations.

Benue Government Issues Ultimatum On Arms Surrendering

Benue, ultimatum, arms surrender, amnesty programmeThe Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom on Friday, gave the Agatu community the ultimatum to surrender all illegal weapons in their possession, or stand at risk of prosecution.

The directive which came after the state council meeting that took place on Friday, is part of efforts in the avowed determination the government to rid the state of illegal arms.

Governor Ortom said that the opportunity given to Agatu people is under the amnesty program of his government.

He said “the Benue state executive council took this decision of the order of illegal weapons, under the state’s amnesty program as conditions for security protection against herdsmen attack”.

The youths of the area have told the governor they will abide by the ultimatum as long as there is show of sincerity.