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5 insurgents kill selves in failed Maiduguri attack

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B/Haram: Embrace negotiation, save Nigeria N1.2 trillion annually: Ex-diplomat advocates

…As 14 Maoist militants killed in gun battle in India***

Five insurgents have lost their lives in a failed bid to infiltrate a community in Maiduguri, to cause havoc, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The incident took place on Aug. 5 at Kaleri community in Maiduguri, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed on Monday in Maiduguri.

Witnesses said that five powerful explosions rocked the Borno capital at about 7: 30 p.m. to 8: 00 pm, putting residents on edge.

The Northeast Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Bashir Garrga, who confirmed the development, said that three residents also injured during the incident.

Garga said that the failed attack involved two females and three males, who detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) strapped to their bodies, causing harm to only themselves.

Malam Bello Danbatta, Head of Emergency Response of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, also colloborated the story, saying that the two male bombers detonated their explosives behind a security cordon in the Kaleri area.

He explained that the suicide bombers were apparently targeting scores of residents in Kaleri community.

“One of the female bombers targeted a home, where a man and his wife were sleeping outside and detonated her explosive, injuring them.

“The other female bomber knocked on a house and as the owner was opening, she quickly detonated her IED.

“The third bomber only destroyed a building, killing only himself.

“Nobody was killed except the bombers. They were trying to sneak into the neighborhood to cause havoc but their plans failed.

“Their dead bodies were evacuated to the state’s specialist hospital by the team. The injured were taken to the hospital by their love ones,” Danbatta said.

Boko Haram insurgents have been terrorizing Nigerian’s expansive northeast since 2009 in an insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions.

The jihadists, however, appeared to have been decimated by federal troops but the insurgents have resorted to hitting soft targets intermittently.

In the meantime,  at least 14 Maoist rebels were killed in a clash with security forces in India’s central state of Chhattisgarh on Monday, DM Awasthi, a senior police officer in charge of counter-insurgency operations said.

“The gun battle broke out in Sukma district, one of the known Maoist strongholds in the state.

“Fourteen Maoists were neutralised in the forests of Sukma in a massive operation we launched after receiving intelligence inputs on the presence of insurgents the region,” Awasthi said.

He said the forces suffered no casualties.

According to media reports, police and paramilitary forces engaged more than 200 Maoists in a fierce gun battle.

Many weapons, including assault rifles, were recovered from the area, broadcaster NDTV reported.

“It is one of the major successes against Maoist militancy in the state,” he said by telephone from the state capital Raipur.

Security forces had launched search operations to track the Maoists, who had fled into the forest following the encounter.

Further details were awaited.

The Maoist guerrillas, who reject parliamentary democracy, said their armed rebellion is to secure rights for the poor and marginalised.

He said that they operate in forest belts in several states across India.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, more than 7,910 people – including civilians, militants and security personnel have been killed in Maoist-related violence in India since 2005.

 

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U.S. strikes 2 targets in Syria in response to ‘continued attacks’

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The U.S. military struck two facilities in eastern Syria used by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Iran-affiliated groups in response to “continued attacks” against U.S. personnel in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon said on Sunday.

The strikes were conducted against a training facility in Abu Kamal and a safe house in Mayadin in the eastern governorate of Deir Ezzor, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a brief statement.

The U.S. struck similar targets in eastern Syria in October and earlier in November.

Pro-Iranian militias have intensified their attacks on U.S. military bases in Syria and Iraq in recent weeks as a response to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

The security situation in the entire region has been particularly tense since Oct. 7, when Hamas militants staged deadly attacks in southern Israel.

Israel is responding with an overwhelming air and ground offensive in Gaza.

As a deterrent, the U.S. has moved more weapons systems, warships and air squadrons to the Eastern Mediterranean, and is deploying several hundred troops to the Middle East to support US units there.

U.S. President Joe Biden had ordered Sunday’s action to make it clear that the U.S. was defending itself, its personnel, and its interests, Austin stressed.

The U.S. is prepared to take further necessary measures to protect its own people and interests.

  • dpa
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Russia writes off $23bn debt for Africa – Putin

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Russia sends almost 12m tons of grain to Africa says Putin

…Pledges additional $90 million***

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, says the Russian Government has written off $23 billion debt burden of African countries.

Putin spoke at the plenary session of the ongoing second Russia–Africa Summit 2023 held from July 27 to July 28.

He said Moscow would allocate an additional $90 million for these purposes.

Putin said Russia was advocating the expansion of representation of African countries in the UN Security Council and other UN structures.

“Russia and Africa strive to develop cooperation in all areas and strengthen ‘honest, open, constructive’ partnership.

“Russia will also assist in opening new African embassies and consulates in Russia,” he said.

According to him, the reopening of embassies in Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea is going as planned.

He said sovereignty was “not a one-time achieved state,” and it must be constantly protected.

Putin also offered assistance to Africa in countering threats such as terrorism, piracy, and transnational crimes adding that it would continue to train personnel from African countries.

He assured that Russian businesses have a lot to offer partners from Africa.

Putin said transition to national currencies and the establishment of transport and logistics chains would contribute to the increase in mutual trade turnover.

“Russia is ready to provide trade preferences to Africa, support the creation of modern production sectors, agricultural sector, and provide assistance through relevant international structures and agencies.

“Russia will always be a responsible international supplier of agricultural products,” he said.

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U.S. Coastguard Finds ‘debris field’ Near Missing Vessel

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A “debris field” has been discovered within the search area for the missing Titan submersible, the U.S. Coastguard (USCG) said on Thursday.

The agency said a remotely-operated vehicle made the discovery near the wreckage of the Titanic on Thursday.

The hunt for the missing deep-sea vessel is still an “active search and rescue” mission after it lost communication on Sunday.

The vessel was about 700 kilometres south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada.

Coastguard officials said they were “evaluating the information” following Thursday’s debris discovery.

A press conference will be held at the Coastguard base in Boston to “discuss the findings” at 8pm (1900 GMT).

Rear Admiral John Mauger, the first Coastguard district commander, and Captain Jamie Frederick, first Coastguard district response coordinator, will lead the press conference.

Founding member of the Board of Trustees of The Explorers Club, Hamish Harding, was on board the undersea craft, alongside UK-based businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, and OceanGate’s chief executive and founder Stockton Rush, as well as French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The USCG said the ROV that made the discovery was from the Canadian Horizon Arctic ship – with the debris being found on the sea floor near the Titanic wreckage.

Assistance from the Royal Air Force (RAF) is due to arrive in St John’s on Thursday after it confirmed a request was received overnight for help with the movement of additional commercial equipment.

Two RAF planes, a C-17 Globemaster and A400 Atlas, departed RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland on Thursday.

A British submariner and equipment from a UK firm have been sent to help the search at the request of the U.S. Coastguard, Downing Street said.

Royal Navy submariner Lieutenant Commander Richard Kantharia, who was on exchange with the U.S. Navy, has been seconded to the search and rescue team.

OceanGate Expeditions estimated the oxygen supply on the 6.7 metre-long vessel would last 96 hours, giving rescuers a deadline of around midday on Thursday.

Experts said the chances of finding the sub and rescuing those inside were diminishing.

Former Royal Navy submarine captain Ryan Ramsey told the PA news agency: “The outlook is bleak, that’s the only word for it as this tragic event unfolds and almost the closing stages of where this changes from rescue to a salvage mission.”

The Titan is believed to be about 900 miles east and 400 miles south of Newfoundland.

It is not known how deep the vessel is, with the seabed being around 3,800 metres from the surface. 

– dpa

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