Category Archives: Terrorism

MALI: 25 perished in attacks

Islamist militants are suspected to be a group behind the killing 25 people including 13 soldiers in multiple attacks in central Mali, burning down an army base and ambushing troops sent as reinforcements, the army and local authorities said on October 13.

The attacks were the deadliest since the August 18 military coup d’état ousting unpopular President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and came just days after scores of jailed jihadists were freed by the interim government in a prisoners for hostages swap.

Nine soldiers were killed in the first attack that took place overnight against a base in Sokoura near the border with Burkina Faso, the army statement reads.

At around 8:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) on Tuesday, on October 13, another three soldiers were killed in an ambush at a bridge near the base as their unit headed to the scene of the first attack, the army statement explains.

Nine militants were killed in clashes with the reinforcement unit and two of their vehicles destroyed by the air force.

In a third assault about 40 minutes later near the town of Bandiagara, gunmen ambushed a commercial truck, killing 12 traders and one soldier, according to Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of nearby Bankass, to which the traders were en route.

A witness said he saw nine bodies at the military base and helped transport 20 wounded to local medical centres.

“They (jihadists) took all the vehicles and burned those they could not take away. The camp is burned,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal.

A transitional government has been appointed since the military coup. But regional and international powers fear the violence could further destabilise the West African nation and undermine a French-directed military campaign against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the wider Sahel region.

Mali: 25 perished in Islamist’s attack

Brussels 13.10.2020 Suspected Islamist militants killed 25 people including 13 soldiers in multiple raids in central Mali, burning down an army base and ambushing troops sent as reinforcements, the army and local authorities informed.

The attacks were the deadliest since the August 18 coup d’état that overthrew President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, and came just days after two hundred jihadists were freed by the interim government in a hostage for prisoners swap.

Nine soldiers were killed in the first attack that took place overnight against a base in Sokoura near the border with Burkina Faso, an army statement said.

Selon des sources locales, le bilan de cette attaque est de 14 morts dont 2 militaires.

At around 8:30 a.m. (0830 GMT) on October 13, another three soldiers were killed in an ambush at a bridge near the base as their unit headed to the scene of the first attack, it said.

Nine militants were killed in clashes with the reinforcement unit and two of their vehicles destroyed by the air force.

In a third assault about 40 minutes later near the town of Bandiagara, gunmen ambushed a commercial truck, killing 12 traders and one soldier, according to Moulaye Guindo, the mayor of nearby Bankass, to which the traders were en route.

An eye witness said he saw nine bodies at the military base and helped transport 20 wounded to local medical centres.

“They (jihadists) took all the vehicles and burned those they could not take away. The camp is burned,” said the witness, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, Reuters News Agency reports.

A transitional government has been appointed since the military coup d’état. However regional and international powers fear the violence could further destabilise the West African nation and undermine a French-directed military campaign against insurgents linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel region.

Mali: Swiss hostage death in absentia

Brussels 10.10.2020 A Swiss hostage – Béatrice Stockly (pictured) – Evangelical Missionary in Timbuktu, who had been held in Mali for four years was killed, the Swiss foreign ministry announced on October 9 in the evening after being informed by French authorities.

“She was apparently killed by kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organization Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslim (JNIM) about a month ago,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.

It said the exact circumstances of the killing were still unclear, but that information had been obtained by the French authorities from a recently released French hostage.

Swiss authorities had worked with Malian authorities and international partners over the past four years to try to obtain the release of the hostage, the ministry said. It did not name the hostage.

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis condemned the killing in the statement. The ministry said it would try to find out more about the circumstances of the killing and whereabouts of the hostage’s remains.

Basel humanitarian Béatrice Stockly, kidnapped four years ago in Mali, was killed by her captors, those responsible are apparently members of an al-Qaeda group. She was allegedly killed by the kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organization Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslim (JNIM) about a month ago.

“It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of our fellow citizen”, declared the head of the FDFA Ignazio Cassis. “I condemn this cruel act and express my deepest condolences to the relatives of the victim.”

Swiss evangelical missionary in the field Béatrice Stockly, who has been living in Timbuktu (Mali) for many years.

This woman who became Arabic-speaking, with a modest income, formerly in the service of the German mission “New Life Ghana”, had chosen to live, independently, within the population to develop local social action and offer a Christian alternative. Béatrice Stockly was kidnapped twice, in Mali, first in 2012 (Ansar Dine group) and then from 2016 (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), because of her religious activity.

At the start of 2016, AQIM described her as “a disbelieving “evangelizer” who, through her work, has succeeded in bringing out of Islam a number of sons of Muslims” From a strict security point of view.

The exact circumstances of the Swiss hostage assassination are not yet clear. The French authorities were informed of this execution through the intermediary of the recently released French hostage, Sophie Pétronin.

MALI: Ms.Pétronin hostage liberation

The son of the French-Swiss humanitarian worker Sophie Pétronin, the last French hostage in the Sahel since her kidnapping by armed men linked to Al Qaeda at the end of 2016, flew to Bamako, Mali, on October 6, in the hope of his soon being released.

Sophie Pétronin, 75, was kidnapped on December 24, 2016 in Gao, northern Mali, where she ran a children’s aid organization.

This morning Sébastien Chadaud-Pétronin, who has traveled to Mali several times in an attempt to secure his mother’s release, has confirmed to a several news agencies that he had boarded a commercial flight to Bamako.

“There is still nothing official,” he said shortly before his plane took off. However, he referred to converging information coming from “reliable sources”.

According to a French security source in the Sahel, the hostages are being transferred to Bamako.

In a fragile state, the French humanitarian aid worker Sophie Pétronin should be released at the same time as the Malian opponent Soumaïla Cissé, kidnapped in March by a group linked to Al Qaeda, as part of a prisoner exchange, said three security sources.

More than 200 jihadists have been released in the past two days, according to security sources in Mali. (Image below: Strasbourg).

Boko Haram killings in Cameroon

Militants of Boko Haram are suspected in killings of five civilians and injured several others on August 31 night in raids on the remote localities of Kouyape and Talakachi of Cameroon’s Far North region, according to local authorities. (Image: illustration)

In Talakachi, one man was killed and three others injured after the militants attacked the house of a respected community figure, officials said.

The police officer said September 1 bombing followed a Boko Haram raid on a village, adding information about a terrorist suisidal incident “The people fled and a young man strapped with explosives chased them and blew himself up.”

The government uses the term Boko Haram to refer loosely to the Sahel jihadist group of the same name, as well as the breakaway Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it “firmly condemns this attack which killed seven civilians and wounded 14 others in Kouyape village.

“The suicide bomb attack took place near Kolofata, close to the border with Nigeria, where some 18,000 internally displaced people have sought safety over the past seven years,” the refugee agency said.

In Kouyape, the militants raided a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) who were asleep, killing four people and wounding several others, according to several security sources, who said the attackers probably used an improvised explosive device on the IDPs.

The attack on the IDPs was the second of its kind in about a month in the volatile region.

In early August, at least 18 IDPs were killed when assailants threw an explosive device, higly likely a grenade, on a site hosting about 800 IDPs near the village of Nguetchewe, in the region, according to Cameroon army.

Cameroon’s far north, an impoverished strip of land between Chad and Nigeria, has been a regular target of raids and assaults by Boko Haram since 2013.

The jihadist group launched its insurgency in Nigeria in 2009 before spilling over into neighbouring Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

It has killed more than 30,000 people, forcing three million to flee their homes, according to the UN.

“We are horrified by these senseless attacks on people who have been torn from their villages, fleeing violence perpetrated by armed gangs which rage in the region, only to be stripped of safety again after they just found refuge elsewhere,” said Olivier Guillaume Beer, UNHCR Representative in Cameroon.

“The killing of innocent civilians has to stop,” he said. “We call on armed groups to respect the rights and lives of civilian populations.”

The attack came a month after 18 people died and 15 were injured by an armed group on the Nguetchewe IDP site. Two young suicide bombers were involved in the attacks, according to officials.

Boko Haram has staged nearly 90 attacks in Cameroon since January.

On August 25, ISWAP attacked a Cameroonian island near the Nigerian border killing 14 people, according to Nigerian authorities.

Security experts say ISWAP is extending its grip and influence around Lake Chad, a vast, marshy area also shared by Niger and Chad.

The police officer said on September 1 bombing followed a Boko Haram raid on a village, adding: “The people fled and a young man strapped with explosives chased them and blew himself up.”

The Cameroonian government uses the term Boko Haram to refer loosely to the Nigerian jihadist group of the same name, as well as the breakaway Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it “firmly condemns this attack which killed seven civilians and wounded 14 others in Kouyape village.

“The suicide bomb attack took place near Kolofata, close to the border with Nigeria, where some 18,000 internally displaced people have sought safety over the past seven years,” the refugee agency said.

Cameroon’s far north, an impoverished strip of land between Chad and Nigeria, has been a regular target of raids and assaults by Boko Haram since 2013.

The jihadist group launched its insurgency in Nigeria in 2009 before brkeaking into neighbouring Cameroon, Niger and Chad.

It has killed more than 30,000 people, forcing three million to flee their homes, according to the UN.

“We are horrified by these senseless attacks on people who have been torn from their villages, fleeing violence perpetrated by armed gangs which rage in the region, only to be stripped of safety again after they just found refuge elsewhere,” said Olivier Guillaume Beer, UNHCR Representative in Cameroon.

“The killing of innocent civilians has to stop,” he said. “We call on armed groups to respect the rights and lives of civilian populations.”

The attack came a month after 18 people died and 15 were injured by an armed group on the Nguetchewe IDP site. Two young suicide bombers were involved in the attacks, according to officials.

Boko Haram has engaged in nearly 90 attacks in Cameroon since January.

On August 25, ISWAP attacked a Cameroonian island near the Nigerian border killing 14 people, according to Nigerian authorities.

Security experts say ISWAP is extending its grip and influence around Lake Chad, a vast, marshy area also shared by Niger and Chad.

Nigeria: jihadists abdicted hundreds of displaced

Insurgents from the Islamic State group West Africa Province (ISWAP), affiliated to Boko Haram, attacked Kukawa in the Lake Chad region late on August 18, seizing hundreds of people who had just returned to their homes after spending nearly two years in displacement camps, said Babakura Kolo, head of a local militia.

“The terrorists attacked the town in 22 trucks around 4:00 pm (1600GMT) yesterday and engaged soldiers guarding the town in a fierce battle,” he said.

Residents of Kukawa, escorted by the military, had returned to the town just on August 2, on the orders of the Borno state authorities.

They had been living in camps in the regional capital Maiduguri, 180 kilometers away, where they fled following a brutal attack in November 2018.

A local chief who accompanied the residents to the town said the people had returned with the hope of cultivating their farmlands “only to end up in the hands of the insurgents”.

“We don’t know what they would do to them but I hope they don’t harm them,” said the chief, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons.

A security source who confirmed the incident to AFP said fighter jets were deployed from Maiduguri on August 19 to “tackle the situation”, without giving further details.

Mogadishu Elite Hotel blasts left 43 injured

At least 16 people were killed in an suicide bomb atttack on Sunday, August 16, by the Islamist group al Shabaab on a seaside hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, according to government spokesman Ismail Mukhtar Omar.

The toll includes 11 victims and five assailants, Omar underlind in a Tweet late on Sunday.

“Security forces lost one, 18 people were injured,” Omar said.

A group of armed men stormed the high-end Elite Hotel in Lido beach, after detonation of a car bomb and then opened fire with assault rifles. Later the Al Shabaab militants claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Dr Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of AAMIN ambulance services, told Reuters news agency on Monday, August 17, that in the aftermath of the attack they had transported at least 43 injured to the hosptials.

https://twitter.com/studio63_ke/status/1295289537703419906?s=21

Al Shabaab militants ambition is to topple the central government and establish Caliphate based on their own interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

The Elite hotel is owned by Abdullahi Mohamed Nor, a lawmaker and former finance minister, and is frequented by government officials and members of the Somali diaspora.

Somalia has been plagued violence since 1991, when warlords of clans overthrew leader Mohamed Siad Barre and then started a protracted armed dispute over power among them.

Car bomb Mogadishu Hotel attack

The gunmen stormed a hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, following a huge explosion on its premises, witnesses and police said. Presumabley the assault has been undertakien in attempt to assassinate the Somali education Minister, experts said.

The attackers blew up a vehicle loaded with explosives and fought their way into the Elite hotel, police officer Osman Shine said by phone. The hotel is at the edge of Lido beach, an area frequented by senior government officials.

Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab launched the attack, a spokesman for the Somali government, Ismael Mukhtar Omar, said, adding that “there is gunfire ongoing inside.”

Two of the assailants have been shot dead by Somali security forces, according to Mukhtar.

Local journalists are reporting, quoting security sources, that at least four gunmen armed with AK47, suicide vests and grenades attacked the Elite hotel in Mogadishu. At least 5 people have died, dozens injured.

Al Shabaab claims suicide attack at Elite Hotel in Mogadishu, planned as assassination of Somali Education Minister, experts claim. Attack continued with fighters storming inside an engaging in ongoing clashes with security. The strike follows a long series of Shabaab attacks on hotels in Mogadishu via same strategy of suicide bombings. Local media reports on 10 people killed and 30 wounded.

Mozambique troops attempt to regain Mocimboa da Praia

Mozambique security forces were engaged in a heavy battle with Islamist insurgents to regain control of a strategic port Mocimboa da Praia in a gas-rich northern province, Defence Minister Jaime Neto said.

Neto has announced the operation a day after the Islamists staged an early morning attack and captured the port town of Mocimboa da Praia.

“At this moment, the defence and security forces are trying to control the situation,” Neto said to press in the capital Maputo. “However, it remains tense and fluid.”

The militants had infiltrated various neighbourhoods disguised in civilian clothes, before unleashing terror, looting and killing government troops and civilians, Neto underlined.

The assault was the latest and the most pertinent in a chain of intensifying attacks that have plagued the country’s northern region since 2017.

Authorities at Mozambique’s defence forces (FDS) confirmed that “terrorists” had launched “sequenced attacks” on several villages surrounding the port over the past week in an operation aiming to occupy the town.

Striking Mocimboa da Praia for a third time this year, the brazen attack was orchestrated a stone’s throw from the heart of the site of natural gas projects worth billions of dollars.

Mocimboa da Praia lies less than 80 kilometres south of Afungi peninsula where a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility, one of Africa’s biggest single investment projects, is located.

The port in the Cabo Delgado province is a major traffic hub for the gas project.

The attacks in Cabo Delgado have displaced more than 250,000 people and caused more than 1500 deaths, according to the ACLED Data Project.

The attacks started in Mocimboa da Praia in 2017 and have since spread to massive swathes of Cabo Delgado.

The latest attack — the third on the town this year — was claimed by the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP).

The IS-affiliated group has the stated goal of establishing a Caliphate in the region.

In spite of the drop in oil prices and the global pandemic crisis, French company Total signed a $14.9bn senior debt financing agreement for Mozambique LNG on 17 July, after acquiring the asset from US-based Anadarko in September 2019.

The Mozambique LNG project involves plans to construct the country’s first onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, including the development of the Golfinho and Atum gas fields located within the Offshore Area 1 concession in Cabo Delgado Province, in northern Mozambique, as well as the construction of a two-train liquefaction plant with a total capacity of 13.1 million tonnes per annum.

IS captures Mozambique LNG port

Islamist insurgents have captured a strateguc port for LNG in the far northern Mozambique town of Mocimboa da Praia, close to the site of natural gas projects worth some $60 billion, local media reported. (Image above: illustration).

Local news site Zitamar said the port had been seized on Ausust 11 when naval forces ran out of ammunition to keep insurgents at bay after days of fighting in Mocimboa da Praia.

There have been no comments from Mozambique authorities so far.

AMENDED:

At the moment, terrorists have captured most of Mosimboa da Praia, entering the seaport area, which was defended by the Marine Corps of the Armed Forces of Mozambique” according to an article published at site free-news.su, siged by Oleg Soloviev (Oлег Соловьев).

“The besieged government marines were assisted by employees of the South African private military company Dyck Advisory Group (DAG). They, using helicopters, fired at the advancing groups of militants, holding back their advance. However, this assistance was short-lived, since the main DAG base is located 350 km to the south, in the city of Pemba, so the “choppers” could only be in the sky above the target for 15 minutes. In addition, DAG helicopters were used to deliver ammunition to the Marines” Soloviev continues.

“By the evening of August 11, the situation of the defenders of the security forces became more complicated. The Marines ran out of ammunition, so they were forced to retreat. At the same time, the jihadists did not experience a shortage of ammunition, since before that they had captured a large arsenal of army men.

“As a result, according to Mozambique media reports, IS militants completely captured the port of Mosimboa da Praia. In addition, the terrorists damaged one of the French HSI32 interceptor boats, which are in service with the Mozambique Coast Guard”.

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