Six Soldiers, Police Officer Killed As Terrorists Invade Taraba Community

A file photo of soldiers on a military vehicle. Photo: Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

No fewer than six soldiers and a police officer have been reported killed in an ambush by gunmen in Tati, a community in Takum Local Government Area (LGA) of Taraba State.

Chairman of Takum LGA, Shiban Tikari, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Narrating how the killings occurred, Tikari said the first victim was the police officer who sighted the terrorists approaching his checking point on foot and opened fire.

Several minutes after he opened fire, his magazine got exhausted and took to his heels. But the gunmen went after him and killed the policeman.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders FEC Members With Political Ambitions To Resign

The council boss explained that moments later, a convoy of the Commanding Officer 93 Battalion, Takum was passing by while gunshots were fired, so decided to stop and engage the terrorists.

In the process, the commanding officer was abducted and six other soldiers in the convoy were killed with their bodies recovered.

“These terrorists are well trained,” said Tikari. “If you hear of their mode of withdrawal and attacks, you will know that they are well trained. When the army got to Tati community, they heard the sporadic gunshots and because the terrain is a difficult one, they followed them up with motorcycles.

“The commanding officer is still at large and that is why the soldiers went into the bush in search of him. We recovered six corpses of the army personnel with the exception of the commanding officer. We are still waiting for them to come out so as to know more.”

Although the Commissioner of Police in Taraba, Abimbola Sokoya, has confirmed the incident, he said cannot speak for the Nigerian Army.

In addition to Tikari’s account, Sokoya revealed that the slain policeman was attached to the 67 Police Mobile Force (PMF) team in Takum.

He added that the incident left an unconfirmed number of locals killed and several houses razed, while a reinforcement had been sent to Takum to ensure a robust joint operation.

“There is a joint operation going on right now – i.e between the military and other security agencies and normalcy is being restored,” the police commissioner stated.

He explained that there has been an existing communal crisis between the Fulani herdsmen and the Kuteb-speaking tribe before the advent of the terrorists.

Sokoya also confirmed the bomb explosion that hit the 6 Army Brigade Headquarters in Jalingo on Tuesday night.

According to him, the Police Anti-Bomb Squad is investigating the incident and will soon update him on its findings.

11 Persons Dead In Burkina Faso Ambush – Army 

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa that covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres and is bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest.
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa that covers an area of around 274,200 square kilometres and is bordered by Mali to the northwest, Niger to the northeast, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and the Ivory Coast to the southwest.

 

Seven soldiers and four backup troops have been killed in two ambushes in Burkina Faso’s troubled north, the army said. 

The first attack near the town of Solle on Thursday led to the deaths of two soldiers and four civilian volunteers helping the army while five paramilitary troops perished in another raid the same day at Ouanobe, the army said in a statement received Friday.

The ambushes were staged by “terrorists,” according to the army, using a term to signify jihadist groups active in Burkina Faso’s north.

Nine people were wounded, it said, adding that the bodies of some 20 attackers had been found during clean-up operations.

READ ALSO: UN Chief Urges Swift Return To Civilian Rule In Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali

Weapons, ammunition, transport, and communication equipment were also seized or destroyed.

Jihadist groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group have regularly carried out attacks in northern and eastern Burkina Faso since 2015, killing more than 2,000 people and displacing almost two million.

Unrest linked to jihadist groups also plagues Burkina Faso’s West African neighbours Mali and Niger.

The three land-locked countries rank among the poorest in the world and their armed forces are ill-equipped against a foe skilled at hit-and-run raids, ambushes and planting roadside bombs.

In December 2019, Burkina set up an auxiliary force called the Volunteers for the Defence of the Motherland (VDP), which is among the units that has suffered most losses.

Recruits are given two weeks’ military training and then work alongside the army, typically carrying out surveillance, information-gathering or escort duties.

On January 24, anger at the security forces’ casualties sparked a mutiny in the army, leading to the overthrow of elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

The new strongman, Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, has declared security to be a priority.

But bloody attacks continue, despite the creation of “dialogue committees” — a bridge-building experiment in which community leaders talk with local jihadists to try to end the violence.

On April 8, 12 soldiers and four VDP members were hit in an attack in northern Burkina.

On April 24, 15 people were killed, including nine soldiers, in a coordinated assault on two units, also in the north, according to army figures.

AFP

Six Soldiers Killed In Colombia Ambush

Colombia on the world map. Photo: Google Earth.

 

At least six soldiers died in an explosives attack perpetrated by suspected drug traffickers in northeastern Colombia, the army said on Wednesday.

Another five soldiers were injured and one remains missing after the attack blamed on the Clan del Golfo cartel, the most powerful in the country but whose leader Dario Antonio Usuga was captured in October.

“Unfortunately the murder of six of our soldiers is confirmed,” said the army in a statement.

The five injured soldiers from the Fourth Brigade “were evacuated by airplane” to a hospital.

“Troops on the ground are continuing to look for one of our soldiers,” added the army.

The attack took place around midnight Tuesday in the Antioquia department.

General Juvenal Diaz told Blu Radio that the Clan del Golfo was responsible for detonating “an improvised explosive device” as a military vehicle was passing.

Antioquia is a key corridor for the transport of cocaine to Colombia’s Pacific coast and on to Panama.

Colombia is the world’s largest producer of cocaine, much of which is smuggled into the United States and Europe.

The Clan del Golfo has increased its attacks on the armed forces since the detention of Usuga, who is known by the alias Otoniel.

Colombia’s government has approved the extradition of Usuga to the United States to face charges of drug trafficking.

Before his capture, the Clan del Golfo used to export 300 of the 1,010 tons of cocaine that leaves Colombia every year, according to authorities.

AFP

10 Soldiers Killed As Bandits Attack Military Base In Kaduna

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.
A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria’s north-west region.

 

At least 10 soldiers have been killed and some others injured by bandits proscribed as terrorists who attacked a military base in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The incident happened at about 6:30pm on Monday, security sources told Channels Television. However, the military authorities have yet to confirm the attack.

Birnin-Gwari is one of the hotspots of banditry in Kaduna, where many people were killed, thousands were kidnapped, and socioeconomic activities were disrupted in the past five years.

A security source in the area told Channels Television on Tuesday that the soldiers were attacked at an Army Forward Operational Base located around the Polwire area close to Mikati Farm along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road.

This photo shows a damaged military vehicle.

 

He explained that the soldiers, who were few in number, were taken unaware by the terrorists who stormed the base in large numbers on motorcycles with sophisticated weapons and immediately opened fire on the soldiers.

According to the source, the bandits monitored the movement of the soldiers and when some of them went out to the headquarters of the Forward Operational Base located inside Birnin-Gwari town, they immediately launched an attack on the few soldiers at the FOB extension.

The superior firepower of the bandits led to the death of about 10 soldiers, while a patrol vehicle was also destroyed during the attack.

This photo shows a damaged military vehicle.

 

Monday’s attack followed the abduction of 11 persons by bandits who attacked Angwar Maji community at Jere town in Kagarko Local Government Area of the state.

The attack occurred on Sunday night at the community located close to the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and the Kaduna- Bwari Road.

Residents said the terrorists struck barely a day after the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, announced the deployment of additional troops to the Abuja-Kaduna Highway and surrounding communities.

Nine Dead In Airstrike On Military Base Near Lviv

This handout picture taken and released by the Ukrainian State Emergency Service on March 7, 2022, shows rescuers dismantling the rubble of a destroyed school after Russian troops shelled the city of Chernihiv.  STR / Ukrainian State Emergency Service / AFP

 

Russian airstrikes killed 35 people at a military base outside Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, the regional governor said Sunday, updating the toll from nine previously.

“I have to announce that, unfortunately, we have lost more heroes: 35 people died as a result of the shelling of the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre,” the governor of Lviv region Maxim Kozitsky wrote on Telegram.

Some of the injured have been taken to Lviv hospitals, he said.

READ ALSO: Russian Troops Abduct Ukrainian Mayor

The military base in Yavoriv, located some 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of the city, was a training centre for Ukrainian forces with foreign instructors, including from the United States and Canada.

It was also a hub for joint exercises of Ukrainian soldiers with NATO allies.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said “foreign instructors work here,” although it was unclear whether any were present during the attacks.

Foreign troops left Ukraine shortly before Russia launched an invasion of its pro-Western neighbour on February 24.

The United States said on February 12 that it withdrew 150 of its instructors from Ukraine.

Reznikov condemned the bombardment as a “new terrorist attack on peace & security near the EU-NATO border”, calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone.

“Action must be taken to stop this. Close the sky!” he wrote.

According to preliminary information, around 30 cruise missiles were fired from Russian planes located over the Black Sea, which had flown out from the southern Russian city of Saratov, Lviv’s mayor said.

Ukraine’s Air Force Command West said on Facebook two cruise missiles were destroyed by air defence systems.

They said the missiles were fired “probably from the waters of the Sea of Azov or the Black Sea”.

Washington on Saturday authorised $200 million in additional military equipment for Ukraine.

Russia the same day warned that its troops could target supplies of Western weapons to Ukraine.

Many Ukrainians have fled to relative safety in Lviv since the launch of Russia’s invasion.

A short drive from EU member Poland, the city is also a transit hub for those leaving Ukraine.

Separately, the mayor of Ivano-Frankivsk in western Ukraine said the city’s airport was targeted in a strike.

“Our morning in Frankivsk began with explosions. This is already the third strike on Frankivsk. They hit the airport,” mayor Ruslan Martsinkiv said on Facebook.

AFP

Ukraine Launches Website For Russians To Find Killed Soldiers

Servicemen ride atop a Russian armored vehicle in Armyansk, Crimea, on February 25, 2022.  AFP

 

Ukrainian authorities on Sunday launched a website to help Russian families track down soldiers who have been killed or captured fighting in Moscow’s invasion of the pro-Western country. 

The site — 200rf.com — contains pictures of the documents and corpses of Russian soldiers Ukraine said had been killed since President Vladimir Putin launched the attack.

It also has videos of soldiers Ukraine says it has captured.

“I am talking to you in Russian because this site was created for you,” Viktor Andrusiv, an adviser to the interior minister, said in a video posted on the site.

“I know that many Russians are worried about how and where their children, sons, husbands are and what is happening to them — so we decided to put this online so that each of you could search for your loved one who Putin sent to fight in Ukraine.”

READ ALSO: Thousands Flee As Fighting Breaks Out In Ukraine’s Second-Biggest City

Andrusiv said that over the past three days Ukrainian forces had captured almost 200 Russian soldiers and more than 3,000 Russian troops had died.

“We have documents, photos and videos of all of these people,” Andrusiv said.

The name of the site references the well-known term Gruz-200 (Cargo-200) that was used by Soviet military for corpses being flown back from the war in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Russia’s defence ministry has so far given no details of any military losses in Ukraine since launching a multi-pronged attack Putin called a “special operation” to protect two separatist regions.

The head of the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, Sergei Melikov, on Saturday became the first official to report the death of a Russian soldier in Ukraine.

He posted a tribute on his official Instagram page, paying homage to an officer he said had been killed during the “special operation to defend Donbas”.

The Kremlin has launched a major propaganda campaign to control coverage of the war in Ukraine and has ordered media to use only Russia’s official versions of events.

Moscow has long been accused of covering up losses suffered by its forces as they backed pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and fought in Syria.

Lev Shlosberg, a prominent liberal politician, has suggested Russia’s military was using mobile crematoriums to destroy evidence of those killed in Ukraine.

“There is no war. No dead. No tombs. People will just be no more. Forever,” he wrote on his blog.

AFP

Rebels Kill Four Senegalese Soldiers, Hold Seven Hostage In Gambia

The Gambia is a small West African country, bounded by Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline.
The Gambia is a small West African country, bounded by Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline.

 

Separatist rebels have killed four Senegalese soldiers and are holding seven hostage after a clash on the border between Senegal and The Gambia last week, the Senegalese army said in a statement.

Three soldiers died in the fighting on January 24 between the Senegalese army and rebels from the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), it said late Monday. A fourth died from wounds several days later.

Seven soldiers are being held hostage by the MFDC, and all are “alive and in good health”, the army said.

The MFDC is behind a low-intensity breakaway conflict in Senegal’s southern region of Casamance that dates back to 1982 and has claimed several thousand lives.

A previous tally said two soldiers were killed and nine were missing, but the army said all were now accounted for.

“There are no more missing persons,” it said in its statement.

The soldiers were part of the peacekeeping mission from the West African bloc ECOWAS in The Gambia, which is known as ECOMIG.

Comprising mainly Senegalese soldiers, ECOMIG was deployed to The Gambia in January 2017 when former dictator Yahya Jammeh refused to cede power after losing a presidential election.

The clashes took place as soldiers were on an operation to combat illegal logging on the border with The Gambia, the army said last week.

Casamance was a Portuguese possession for several hundred years until it was ceded to colonial France in 1888, becoming part of Senegal after the country gained independence in 1960.

The region, which has a distinct culture and language, is separated geographically from the rest of Senegal by the Gambia River, around which lies the tiny state of The Gambia.

Four Soldiers Killed In Mali Attack

Malian soldiers ride in a Malian army pickup truck in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

 

Four Malian soldiers were killed and around a dozen others were wounded when they were attacked in the west of the county, the army said Thursday.

Mali’s Armed Forces (FAMA) said the attack occurred late Tuesday in a region of the country where jihadists have attacked soldiers in the past.

“A FAMA unit in the Nara region was the target of a sophisticated attack combining IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) and heavy weapons,” the army said in a statement.

It said the army suffered “four dead and a dozen seriously wounded,” adding it was a provisional toll, but did not say who carried out the attack.

Mali is the epicentre of a jihadist insurgency that began in the north of the country in 2012 and spread three years later to neighbouring Niger and Burkina Faso.

Thousands of people across the region have died and around two million have been displaced by the conflict.

Despite the presence of French and UN troops, the conflict spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

France intervened in 2013 and now has roughly 5,000 troops in the region, but plans to lower that number to 2,500-3,000 by 2023.

The spiral of violence has continued despite the coup that brought the military to power in Bamako in 2020.

AFP

#EndSARS Report: SERAP Sues Buhari, Seeks Arrest Of Indicted Security Personnel

A photo combination of SERAP and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the arrest of security operatives involved in the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki tollgate, and police brutality cases.

Young Nigerians had converged at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020, demanding good governance in the country and an end to police brutality before they were reportedly shot at by security operatives.

A year after, a leaked report by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry on police brutality set up by the state government to probe the incident had indicted the officers for shooting “unarmed helpless and defenseless protesters, without provocation or justification.”

But SERAP in a statement on Sunday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said the lawsuit was filed in collaboration with 116 concerned Nigerians.

READ ALSO: Lekki Toll Gate: Army ‘Killed Unarmed, Defenseless Protesters’ – Lagos Panel

The group wants the court to “direct and compel President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate steps to ensure the arrest of soldiers and police officers indicted by the Lagos #EndSARS panel report for the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll-gate, and police brutality cases.”

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1482/2021 filed last Friday, SERAP is also asking the court to “direct and compel President Buhari to bring to justice anyone suspected to be responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters, and to ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims, including adequate compensation.”

“It is in the interest of justice to grant this application, as it would improve respect for Nigerians’ rights, the rule of law, and public confidence in government institutions, as well as reduce the growing culture of impunity of perpetrators,” the statement read.

“The safety of protesters in Nigeria remains as precarious as ever, and impunity for crimes against them is growing. Impunity emboldens perpetrators. A failure to bring to justice those indicted for the shooting of peaceful protesters is, in itself, a violation of the rights to life and human dignity.”

“The flagrant lack of accountability for past violations of the rights of protesters has given rise to a growing sense of powerlessness, and resentment not only among victims and their families but among the general public.”

According to the group, the failure to promptly arrest, and bring to justice those suspected to be responsible for the shooting of peaceful protesters, and to ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims and their families amounts to a travesty of justice, as justice delayed is justice denied.

Joined in the suit as Respondent is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.

While seeking an order to compel Buhari to ensure that those still being detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights are immediately and unconditionally released, and all charges against them are dropped, SERAP also wants the President to ensure full and effective respect for the human rights of everyone across the country, including the rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in part: “The Buhari administration has the constitutional responsibility to allow victims of human rights violations to find out the truth in regard to acts committed, to know who the perpetrators of such acts are, and to obtain justice and adequate compensation.”

“The right to life is an inherent, core, and non-derogable human right, regardless of the circumstances, and even in times of armed conflict or states of emergency. Summary, extrajudicial, or arbitrary executions are clearly prohibited under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and international law.

“The UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary, and Summary Executions affirm that ‘extra-legal, arbitrary, and summary executions’ cannot be carried out under any circumstances.’

“According to the principles, ‘governments shall prohibit orders from superior officers or public authorities authorizing or inciting other persons to carry out any such extra-legal, arbitrary or summary executions. All persons shall have the right and the duty to defy such orders.’

“International law requires that the use of lethal force, such as firearms, is an ‘extreme measure’ that should only be considered when strictly necessary in order to protect life or prevent serious injury from an imminent threat.

“Articles 2(1) and 2(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party require State Parties to ‘undertake to respect and ensure’ and provide effective remedies for violations of the rights in the Covenant.

“The remedies must be accessible and effective remedies and take into account the special vulnerability of certain categories of person.

“The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a set of principles relating to states’ obligations to the victims of serious violations of international human rights law that makes clear that states are obligated to investigate violations of international human rights law thoroughly and impartially, and where appropriate, take action against those allegedly responsible.

“States also have the duty to investigate and, if there is sufficient evidence, the duty to submit to prosecution the person allegedly responsible for violations.

“President Buhari has a constitutional duty, being the Chief Executive Officer of the Federation and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, to ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims, and that there is no impunity for allegations of human rights violations.”

The suit followed the submission of the Lagos #EndSARS panel report on the Lekki shooting incident and police brutality cases to the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The leaked report is said to have indicted some soldiers and police officers for “the shooting of protesters, leading to grievous injuries and deaths.

The panel reportedly found that “the shooting of protesters at the Lekki toll-gate on October 20, 2020, was unwarranted, excessive, provocative and unjustifiable in the circumstances of the state of the protests, which was peaceful and orderly.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Sixteen Soldiers Killed In Central Mali Attack

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa.
Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa.

 

Sixteen soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in an attack in central Mali on Wednesday, security and health officials in the war-torn Sahel state said. 

Mali’s army had earlier said five soldiers had been killed and eight wounded. However, a health official working in central Mali said the death toll had risen to 16, with 10 soldiers injured.

A security source, who requested anonymity, confirmed the toll.

In its statement, Mali’s army said that troops had repelled a “complex IED attack,” referring to an improvised explosive device.

Mali has been struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency that first erupted in the north in 2012 and has since claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

Despite the presence of thousands of French and UN troops, the conflict has engulfed central Mali and spread to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.

READ ALSO: France Warns Mali Against Russian Wagner Mercenary Deal

Central Mali has become one of the most violent hotspots of the Sahel-wide conflict, where ethnic killings and attacks on government forces are frequent.

Four Malian soldiers were killed by an IED blast in the region on September 20. A jihadist ambush also killed five soldiers in central Mali on September 12.

Laying roadside bombs — or IEDs — is a common tactic of jihadist groups in the region.

AFP

Two Soldiers Killed As Troops Repel ESN Attack In Enugu

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ
A file photo of soldiers.

 

Two soldiers were killed during a firefight between troops of the Nigerian Army and Eastern Security Network (ESN) members at Adani community of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.

This was contained in a statement signed on Wednesday by Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu.

The incident occurred when the troops were trying to repel an attack by the ESN on troops’ location at Iggah/Asaba checkpoint.

READ ALSO: I Deeply Regret Our Efforts Have Not Led To Degradation Of Bandits – El-Rufai

“Nigerian Army troops deployed to checkmate the activities of gunmen at Adani community of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, yesterday 13 July 2021, repelled Eastern Security Network (ESN) gun attack on troops’ location at Iggah/Asaba checkpoint.

“Sadly, during the firefight that ensued, two soldiers paid the supreme price. Troops are currently on the trail of the criminals,” Nwachukwu said in the statement.

The Nigeria Army, therefore, assured the general public of its commitment to provide adequate security in the general area in collaboration with other security agencies.

They also urge members of the public to complement the effort of the security agencies by remaining law-abiding and provide useful information on the fleeing gunmen.

Two Soldiers Die As Army Kills 12 Terrorists In Borno

Borno is situated in northeast Nigeria.

 

Troops of the Nigerian Army 152 Task Force Battalion in conjunction with the Air Component of Operation Hadin Kai on Sunday neutralised 12 Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists.

A statement issued on Monday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the terrorists, who attempted to infiltrate the Forward Operational Base at Bula Yobe in Borno State came mounted on gun trucks and several motorcycles but were met with heavy volume of fire from the vigilant troops, subsequently forcing them to retreat.

The troops sustained the firefight and successfully neutralised 12 terrorists, with several others fleeing with gunshot wounds.

Two soldiers were, however, killed in the process, while five others sustained varying degrees of injury and have been evacuated by the Air component of OPHK to a medical facility, where they are currently receiving medical attention.

The troops seized some items such as one gun truck, one Self Propelled Gun-9, one Dushika gun, one mounted QJC Machine Gun, one Light Machine Gun and five AK 47 Rifles.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, has lauded the land troops and the air component for their synergy and quick response.

He charged the troops to maintain the tempo and vehemently hold their ground, to deny the terrorists freedom of action.

Brigadier General Nwachukwu noted that the general area within FOB Bula Yobe is now calm and under the control of troops of the battalion as further exploitation by the resilient troops is ongoing.