4 gendarmes killed in fresh war in Anglophone Cameroon

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

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

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.

Boko Haram kills 4, hijacks food trucks in Ngala

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.

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

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.