…As Trump confirms death of ISIS leader, Baghdadi, in U.S. raid***
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria over what he described as a ‘fantastic beginning’ in the group’s opening match of FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
The Nigeria Under-17 football team opened the championship with a 4-2 win over Hungary on Saturday, signaling their readiness to win the FIFA Championship for an unprecedented sixth time, just as President Donald Trump confirms the killing of fugitive Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by U.S. Special Forces in a raid in northwest Syria.
Buhari in a message to the team after the spectacular performance, praised the boys for the determination to excel which they displayed throughout the match in spite of the brilliant performance of their opponents.
The President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, quoted the president as saying: “It was a wonderful display that I am very proud of.
“You showed that there is nothing that cannot be achieved with determination and perseverance.
“I have followed your journey leading to your arrival in Brazil for the competition. I have equally noted your determination and confidence throughout your preparations.
“I have no doubt in my mind that you are determined to win the competition for an unparalleled sixth time.”
Garba stated that President Buhari had assured the Golden Eaglets of his continuous personal support and that of Nigerians for the entire period of the tournament.
He also urged the team to continue demonstrating the resilient spirit of the Nigerian, and bring the cup home, adding that he would personally be monitoring their progress in the tournament.
In the other match of the opening day, host nation Brazil pounded Canada 4-1 in Brasilia.
Nigeria will go up against Ecuador in their next match on Tuesday at the same venue.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has confirmed the killing of fugitive Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by U.S. Special Forces in a raid in northwest Syria.
Speaking to newsmen at the White House on Sunday morning, Trump said Baghdadi killed himself by detonating his suicide vest during the operation on Saturday night.
According to him, test results on the remains of those killed positively identified Baghdadi, who before now was the world’s most wanted terrorist.
The president, who said no American was killed in the operation, lauded the bravery of the men and women of U.S. forces.
Trump said Baghdadi’s three children and many other terrorists also died in the raid, adding that the accurate figure of those killed would be released in the next 24 hours.
“He was a sick and depraved man and now he’s gone.
“The thug, who tried so hard to intimidate others, spent his last moments in utter fear, panic and dread, terrified of the American forces coming down on him.
“He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and his three children.
“His body was mutilated by the blasts. The tunnel had caved on him,” Trump said.
Until his death, Baghdadi was the head of ISIS which at one point controlled large areas of Syria and Iraq, declaring a caliphate, according to Reuters.
The jihadist group has carried out atrocities against religious minorities and attacks on five continents in the name of a version of an ultra-fanatic Islam that horrified mainstream Muslims, the news agency reported.
Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria, says the BBC.
The U.S. declared the “caliphate” defeated earlier this year, and had long placed Baghdadi on its wanted list.