Cameroonian gendarmes invade Nigerian community

4 gendarmes killed in fresh war in Anglophone Cameroon

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Cameroonian gendarmes: 4 killed by Anglophone separatistsMilitants seeking independence for Cameroon’s English-speaking regions sustained casualties on Monday, just as they killed four gendarmes, the government stated. Several separatists were killed by security forces in ensuing clashes, the government spokesman stated.Repression by President Paul Biya’s government against what began as peaceful protests a year ago by Anglophone activists over perceived social and economic marginalization has bolstered support for armed militants demanding a full break with Yaounde.The separatists have launched a series of deadly raids on government police and soldiers in recent weeks, leading authorities to escalate a crackdown that has killed dozens of civilians.Issa Tchiroma Bakary, Cameroon’s government spokesman, stated.the separatists had killed four gendarmes earlier on Monday in the town of Kembong in Southwest region’s Manyu Division.“The assailants, ensnared by the measures put in place by our defense and security forces, are now reduced to sporadic attacks carried out by hidden faces and using perfidy,” Tchiroma stated.A representative for the separatists could not be immediately reached for comment.Manyu, with its dense equatorial forests along the Nigerian border, has become the center of the insurgency from which the separatists have launched a series of attacks on security forces in villages.The violence there has fueled a mounting refugee crisis. At least 7,500 people have crossed into Nigeria since Oct. 1, when the secessionists declared an independent state called Ambazonia, and the U.N. refugee agency says it is bracing itself for as many as 40,000.Cameroon’s linguistic divide harks back to the end of World War One, when the German colony of Kamerun was carved up between allied French and British victors.The English-speaking regions joined the French-speaking Republic of Cameroon the year after its independence in 1960. French speakers have dominated the country’s politics since.Tensions have long simmered but the recent violence is the most serious to date and has emerged as a serious challenge to Biya’s 35-year rule. The 84-year-old is expected to seek a new term in an election next year.- Reuters

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6 Boko Haram insurgents killed in Ngala attack, Not Civilians – Army

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Maj. General Rogers Ibe Nicholas: says Army killed six insurgents in Ngala attackBORNO STATE NEWS – The Nigerian Army on Monday denied the killings of civilians in an attack coordinated by the Boko Haram insurgents against the United Nations’  World Food Programme (WFP’s) trucks on Saturday.Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, gave the clarification in a Short Service Message (SMS) to NAN in Maiduguri.Nicholas said contrary to reports credited to WFP, the troops escorting the trucks killed six insurgents and recovered weapons.He explained that there were no civilian casualties in the attack, adding that he was at Dikwa when the incident occurred.“There was an ambush but the soldiers killed six Boko Haram insurgents and recovered weapons. No civilian was killed.“I was in Dikwa that Saturday and this happened while I was within,” Nicholas stated.However, the Wold Food Programme (WFP) on Sunday said a driver of its hired truck and three other persons were killed in an attack at Ngala in Gamboru-Ngala Local Government Area of Borno.Adedeji Ademigbuji, the Communication Associate of the WFP, said in a statement issued in Maiduguri that a convoy of the WFP’s hired trucks conveying food items were attacked by gunmen 35 kilometres South-West of Ngala on Saturday.He disclosed that the convoy escorted by the military were conveying foodstuff for distribution to the vulnerable Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area.He stated that a driver of the hired truck, his assistant and two other persons were killed in the attack.“WFP confirmed that a convoy escorted by the Nigerian Military including WFP hired trucks were subject of attack by armed groups, 35 km southwest of Ngala in Borno, on Dec. 16.“Four people, including the driver of a WFP hired truck and his assistant, were killed in the incident.“WFP is working with the authorities to determine the whereabouts of the trucks,” Ademigbuji stated.

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Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram Leader

Boko Haram kills 4, hijacks food trucks in Ngala

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Boko Haram guerrillas hijack food trucksBORNO STATE NEWS – Four people were killed and food trucks hijacked when Boko Haram guerrillas attacked a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) aid convoy in Ngala, Borno state at the weekend. The attack was the latest in the region as the conflict with Boko Haram nears its ninth year.“WFP can confirm that a convoy escorted by the Nigerian military including WFP-hired trucks was the subject of an attack by armed groups 35 km southwest of Ngala in Borno State on Saturday,” the spokeswoman Jane Howard said in an emailed statement on Sunday.“Four people, including the driver of a WFP-hired truck and a driver’s assistant, were killed in the incident,” the statement said, adding that “WFP is working with the authorities to determine the whereabouts of the trucks.”The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the driver and assistant were WFP staff, or give details about the other two people killed.The Nigerian military has not commented on this latest attack.Last year, the United Nations suspended aid deliveries in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, the epicentre of the conflict, after a humanitarian convoy was attacked, leaving two aid workers injured.Last week, in a sign that some work still needs to be done to destroy Boko Haram, the Nigerian governors approved the release of $1 billion (751 million pounds) from the country’s excess oil account to the Federal government to help fight the Boko Haram insurgency.

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220 terrorists captured

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Some Boko Haram suspectsNo fewer than 220 suspected Boko Haram terrorists have been captured by the Nigerian Army in various operations to clear North East region of insurgents.Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation Lafiya Dole, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Maiduguri.Nwachukwu stated that troops captured 167 insurgents after raiding their enclaves in Lake Chad Basin while 53 others were captured in northern parts of Borno State.He disclosed that troops also extricated 67 women and 173 children, who were family members of the insurgents.Nwachukwu stated that the troops have intensified offensive to clear remnants of the insurgents in the region, noting that the operation has yielded positive results.“Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have intensified offensive on Boko Haram enclaves in the Island around Lake Chad.“The offensive which commenced about two weeks ago with coordinated air and artillery bombardments on Boko Haram enclaves is yielding positive results, as several insurgents have been killed while 167 fleeing insurgents have been captured by troops.“Troops also extricated and profiled 67 women and 173 children who revealed during profiling exercise that they are family members of the insurgents who fled the troops’ offensive,” he stated.Nwachukwu explained that arrangements were ongoing to handover the women and children to authorities of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, after completing preliminary investigations.As stated by him, troops in the past two months conducted long range fighting patrols and ambushes.He disclosed that the troops cleared the insurgents’ hideouts at Saada and Juwei villages in the fringes of northern Borno.“During the operations troops intercepted and arrested 53 fleeing insurgents who have been profiled and are currently helping with investigations.“Fifteen insurgents have also willingly renounced the sect and surrendered, dismissing it as futile struggle”.Nwachukwu further sympathised with families of troops and civilians, who died in the encounters and the callous suicide bombing attacks by the terrorists.He reiterated the commitments of the military to crush Boko Haram insurgency and fast track restoration of peace in the northeast.The army spokesperson called on the people in the region to be vigilant and to cooperate with the security agencies and provide useful information on suspicious persons, to enable the military win the war against the insurgents.

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How Amri was intercepted, killed in ‘textbook’ police operation

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Berlin attack suspect, Anis Amri was shot dead in Milan by an Italian policeman.When Anis Amri pulled out a gun during a chance encounter in a northern suburb of Milan, the rookie Italian policeman who thought he was confronting a small-time drug peddler ended up facing Europe’s most wanted man.Officer Luca Scata crossed paths with Amri in the early hours of December 23, 2016, four days after the Islamic State affiliate drove a truck into a busy Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring more than 70 others.But the 30-year-old Scata, a member of the police force for less than a year, barely lost his composure: Using the common expletive from his native Sicily, he blurted out “Minchia!” (F*ck!) before shooting his target dead with a single bullet.“That’s all he could say when we asked him what went through his mind at that moment,” his boss, Maurizio Vallone, told dpa in an interview. “That made us all laugh: Scata is really a calm, young and disarmingly simple guy,” he also stated.Vallone is a senior officer with a broad remit: he leads the Italian police department overseeing all street-level operations, including patrols and roadblocks. Previously, he was an anti-Mafia cop in Naples and Sicily.Amri arrived in Sesto San Giovanni, 10 kilometres north of central Milan, on a desperate run from Berlin via the Netherlands, Belgium and France. Scata and his colleague, Christian Movio, had their patrol car parked just outside the train station.They stopped Amri because he “tried to make himself less visible” as soon as they set eyes on him, and he was holding his purse suspiciously tight, Vallone stated. That made Movio and Scata presume that he was hiding drugs, rather than a gun.When asked for identification, Amri spoke in Italian and said he would take his papers from his purse. Instead, he pulled out a weapon, shooting 36-year-old Movio in the right shoulder. Scata, positioned further back for cover, intervened with a fatal shot.“We are Christians, so the death of a person is never cause for celebration,” Vallone stated. But Scata and Movio’s was “a textbook operation” that has been re-enacted in an in-house DVD for training purposes, he also stated.What stopped Amri in his tracks was “one of a million” Italian police roadside checks carried out last year, Vallone noted. “It might have been a coincidence that [Scata and Movio] bumped into him,” but the way they dealt with the situation was not, he insisted.“It was 3 am, and instead of minding their own business and staying warm and cosy in their car, these two officers got out and checked [a shifty looking man], and as soon as he reacted, neutralized the threat,” Vallone said proudly.That fortuitous interception turned the Italian police duo into international heroes. But their reputation took a knock when alleged neo-fascist sympathies emerged via social media.The Berlin government cancelled plans for them to be awarded Germany’s highest civilian honor for bravery, the Federal Cross of Merit, much to the chagrin of their boss, who downplayed the social media incidents as “boys’ pranks.”“It did a lot of damage, because I think [they] deserved an international prize,” Vallone said, insisting there was “nothing further from [Scata’s mind] than certain kind of [fascist] ideologies.”Scata and Movio were partialy vindicated in March, when they received a Golden Medal for Civilian Bravery from the hands of Italian President Sergio Mattarella. In addition, they have been promoted, and moved nearer to their home towns.Last year’s events in Sesto San Giovanni also drew attention to Italy’s lucky status as the only major European Union country to have been spared from Islamic terrorist attacks. Several hypotheses for this have been put forward.For example, the country has a smaller and fairly integrated Muslim community, seen as less prone to radicalization. It also has an extensive intelligence and police apparatus, partly the legacy of decades-long fights against the Mafia and domestic terrorism.“Sooner or later our luck might run out: it is not only possible, but likely that a terrorist attack will happen in Italy, so why we remain on very high alert. We have been lucky so far, but we have also been prudent,” Vallone stated.

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Scene of the Somalia car bomb attack

Suicide bomber kills 17 Somali policemen

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Suicide bomber hits Somali policemen in MogadishuA suicide bomber from Somalia’s Shabaab insurgents killed 18 police officers and wounded 15 others on Thursday when he blew himself up inside the country’s main police academy, the force’s chief stated.Witnesses said the police were gathered in a square ahead of their early morning parade when the bomber attacked in the capital Mogadishu.Although the official toll was put at 18 dead, the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab claimed responsibility and put the toll at 27 dead.The assault is the latest in a decade-old battle by the jihadists to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government.“Eighteen members from the police were killed, and 15 others were wounded, after a suicide bomber blew himself inside the academy,” acting police chief General Muktar Hussein Afrah told reporters.The attacker disguised himself in a police uniform to access the camp, Afrah stated.“Some of the police were already in lines, and others were gathering, when the man in police uniform entered and blew himself up,” said bystander Hussein Ali, describing the carnage.Medics and ambulance teams rushed to take the wounded to hospital and collect the corpses.Officers said the toll could have been far worse had the attacker detonated his bomb in the centre of the crowd.“The bomber could have inflicted more casualties if he could have managed to reach the midpoint where most people were,” police officer Ibrahim Mohamed stated.Later Thursday, police attended the funerals of some of their colleagues killed in the attack.

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Report details where ISIS gets its weapons

US troops and Syrian forces battle ISIS near key base

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A military official with the United States-led coalition fighting ISIS told CNN that a convoy of about 10 vehicles was passing through the northern portion of the 55km “de-confliction” zone surrounding the coalition base in At Tanf, Syria, a buffer area that was negotiated by Russia and the United States-led coalition.US-backed local Maghawir Al-Thawra fighters accompanied by US advisers moved to intercept the convoy and identify it. When they discovered that the convoy included ISIS fighters, an intense firefight broke out with about 15 ISIS fighters killed in the initial battle. No coalition forces were killed or wounded, the official stated.the United States-led coalition, Operation Inherent Resolve, issued a statement later Thursday saying over 20 ISIS fighters were killed in the battle.Two US military officials told CNN the number was 21 killed and 17 captured.A smaller group of ISIS fighters broke off during the fight but were later captured by US-backed forces. Those captured included several foreign fighters from other countries in the Middle East, the official stated. A US military official recently told CNN that some 50 foreign ISIS fighters have been captured in Syria and Iraq since November.

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Iraq is 'fully liberated' from ISIS, its military says

Report details where ISIS gets its weapons

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Conflict Armament Research deployed a team of field investigators across ISIS frontline positions in both Iraq and Syria between July 2014 and November 2017, and analyzed more than 40,000 items recovered from ISIS forces.Researchers deployed with local forces fighting ISIS, mainly Iraqi government forces in Iraq and Kurdish forces in northern Syria, and studied everything recovered or left behind by ISIS in liberated areas.The items recovered encompassed everything from weapons, ammunition as well as chemical components procured by the terror group to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to be used on the battlefield.As stated by the report, the unauthorized transfer of munitions that were originally intended to benefit groups fighting in an already chaotic and violent environment eventually found their way to ISIS.

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