Category Archives: Security

Norway crew abducted in Benin

Nine crew members from Norway vessel have been abducted by pirates while anchored off the coast of the West African country of Benin. The Gulf of Guinea is notorious among maritime regions, plagued by piracy. (Image: illustration).

The sailors on a vessel Bonita owned by the Norwegian shipping company J.J. Ugland have been kidnapped by pirates while anchored 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) off shore from the port city of Cotonou on November 2.

In a statement published in Norway’s Dagens Naeringslivnewspaper on November 3, the company spokesperson said it would not disclose the crew’s nationalities, citing safety reasons.

“The Ugland Emergency Response Team are handling this situation as per contingency plans, and they are in contact with relevant authorities.

“The families of the crew members have been contacted and will be kept informed by Ugland,” the company
The remaining crew members was able to dock at port with its gypsum cargo the same day.

The Gulf of Guinea, which extends from Gabon to Liberia, has been infested by piracy practicing kidnapping in search for ransom.

Mali military death toll risen

Daesh fighters in Mali have killed dozens of soldiers in one of the deadliest offensives against the governmental forces in recent memory. The the sources report two figures: 49 and 53 men perished in the attack, and one civilian.

It is possible that the toll will be even higher, taken into consideration the wounded, who have injuries ‘incompatible with life’. One civilian has become a collateral victim in the attack on an isolated military base the government said.

The authorities first reported the attack in Indelimane, in Menaka region, on November 1, but the initial death toll was lower.

“Heavily armed unidentified men attacked around noon. The attack started with shellfire … Then they retreated toward Niger,” the government spokesperson Yaya Sangare said.

Spokesperson also explains the death toll was not final because the bodies were still being identified, and that the army has launched a combing operation on the ground with support from international forces, including French troops and UN peacekeepers.

The Islamic State (IS) group said via their site Amaq news claimed being behind the attack.

Mali has been tormented by radical Islamistes since 2012, when the militants took over the north. With the assistance of French military, Mali’s army has recovered the territories.

However, the djihâd groups there did not abandon the idea to establish Caliphate, and they continued to fight against the governmental forces.

In a separate incident on November 2, a French soldier was killed in Liptako in the same area. 

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Brigadier Ronan Pointeau died after his armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb, the French government said in a statement. Brigadier is the equivalent of corporal.

It was earlier reported that 54 soldiers had died in the attack on the military post, based on a statement by Mali government spokesperson, Yaya Sangare.

Niger soldiers killed and wounded

In Niger 12 soldiers were killed and eight wounded in an attack by gunmen reportedly belonging to Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram, the defense ministry confirmed this week. 

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Boko Haram has been in offensive for a decade to establish the Caliphate in Nigeria, and has been undertaking the regular raids over the borders into neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon. 

https://twitter.com/afp/status/1189600100089155585?s=21

On the night of October 29-30, an army position in Diffa region was “attacked by unidentified armed persons very probably belonging to the terrorist group Boko Haram,” the officials announced in statement, transmitted by radio.

IS claims Burkina Faso deadly attack

The Islamic State affiliated group has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Burkinabé  military leaving 24 dead. FRANCE 24 TV Channel expert Wassim Nasr says the claim is credible and that the attack shows how IS group has expanded its reach in northern Burkina Faso. (Image: illustration).

The August 20 attack on a military post in the north-eastern village of Koutougou killed 24 soldiers. By claiming responsibility for this attack, IS group has demonstrated its capacity to strike in areas where al Qaeda tends to be active.

Burkina Faso’s military said 24 soldiers were killed and seven others injured on August 19 in a “major attack by armed terrorist groups” in the Koutougou department of Soum province in the northern Sahel bordering Mali.

Nigeria: 16 people killed in Katsina

Armed groups have killed 16 people in separate attacks on remote villages, an area plagued by cattle-rustling and kidnappings, in northern Nigeria‘s Katsina state, officials announced. (Image above: illustration).

In separate attacks gunmen on motorcycles stormed the Dantakuri, Tsayau, Barza and Zakka villages on August 19-20, shooting residents and stealing cattle, local authorities reported.

The worst attack happened in Dantakuri, the area’s political administrator Sanusi Dangi Abbas told AFP news agency.

The bandits killed 11 people in Dantakuri. One person was killed and another injured in nearby Barza,” Abbas said. “In all, we lost 12 people in the attacks which began around 17:00 (16:00 GMT) on Sunday,” he said.

Community of Barza identified the victim as the chief imam of the village.

Katsina state police spokesman Anas Gezawa confirmed the attacks but said he was only aware of casualties from Tsayau, where four people were murdered and several herds stolen.

“I can confirm the killing of four people in Tsayau but we are awaiting reports from the other areas,” Gezawa clarified.

The bandits carted away some livestock and the villagers pursued them into the forest to reclaim their animals which led to the death of four people from the village,” he added. “We didn’t put up a fight and no one was hurt but we are still taking stock of the animals the attackers took away,” he said.

Katsina state, the birthplace of President Muhammadu Buhari, has been ravaged by kidnappers and cattle robbers in recent months, prompting villagers to form vigils groups to defend themselves.

 

Russian sailors abducted in Cameroon

The whereabouts of three Russian citizens from the crew of the vessel attacked in the Gulf of Guinea, close to Cameroon port of Douala on August 15, remain unknown,  the Foreign Ministry announced. (Image above: illustration).

“Based on the incoming information, on August 15, near the port of Douala (the Republic of Cameroon), unknown perpetrators attacked a cargo vessel “Marmalaita” belonging to the Danish company Ultrabulk, navigating under the flag of Antigua and Barbuda. According to the recruiting agency Marlow Navigation Russia, located in St. Petersburg, the attackers kidnapped eight members of the crew, among them three citizens of the Russian Federation,” the ministry informed.

According to the Russian Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroonian officials and representatives of the ship-owner company are currently investigating the incident. Russian diplomats actively cooperate with the governmental bodies in Cameroon and ship-owners in order to ensure the release of Russian citizens, the ministry added.

On August 15 the AFP agency reported, citing a Cameroon’s Navy source, that unknown perpetrators had abducted sailors from a vessel near the port of Douala. According to the source, “the kidnappers are probably Nigerian pirates.”

EU stands by Egypt to defeat terrorism

“The European Union expresses its deepest condolences to the victims and their families and wishes a prompt recovery to those wounded in this act of terror”, the European External Action Service spokesperson said, reacting upon a car bomb explosion in Cairo on August 4, which has left at least 20 people dead, and many injured.

“The European Union stands side by side with Egypt in its efforts to defeat terrorism in the country”.

An explosion in Cairo was terrorist-related, Egypt‘s president Al Sisi said.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Egyptian people and the families of the martyrs killed in the cowardly terrorist incident in the vicinity of the Kasr al-Aini area yesterday evening,” he wrote in his official social media account, paying tribute to victims.

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