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Boko Haram female bombers kill 32, injure 84 in Damboa



…As Libyan oil storage hit in new fighting at Ras Lanuf***

No fewer than 32 persons were killed,  while 84 others were  injured when six suicide bombers marked the Eid el -Fitr by detonating  Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), in Damboa local government area in Borno state on Saturday.

The major reason for the high figures however remains shrouded as some locals alleged that the deaths arose from a  misfiring by the Nigerian Army’s artillery; even as the army denied the claim.

Malam Buba Shettima, a witness said that two separate bomb blasts  occurred in Shuwari and Abbachari, at about 8:30 p.m.

“The whole of Damboa was shaken  by the unfortunate incident. We all scampered for safety as the  blasts were  coming from different directions. There were  bodies everywhere.

“We suspected that the many deaths recorded were a result of the  military artillery,”he said.

Mohammed Hassan, another local from the area who corroborated the claim, said:

“At about 8:30 pm of on Saturday night,  an attack suspected to be from an artillery killed 31 innocent people  in Damboa Shehuri and Abachari. The attacks came from two separate directions. My house was among some of the houses destroyed,” he said.

Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, denied the claim, saying the killings were caused by  suicide attacks and not military artillery.

“There  was nothing like an attack from the military artillery. You can see the pictures of six female bombers who detonated their explosives and as a result, 20 persons were killed while others were injured,” he said.

Rogers urged people to disregard the claim that people were killed by the military and not by suicide bombers.

Modu-Zannah Maina, the District Head of Damboa, who described the incident as “shocking and disturbing”, said the attack was perpetrated by female suicide bombers.

Maina lamented that a lot of those  that were affected were mostly children adding that many victims were injured.

“We are here in this hospital to check our people affected by Saturday’s bomb blasts. So far, the victims have been responding to treatment,”he said.

Meanwhile Mr Damian Chukwu, the Borno Commissioner of Police, said: “On Saturday, at about 2045hrs, an explosion occurred at Abachari area, in the  outskirt of Damboa L.G.A. of Borno State.

“At the sound of the explosion, personnel of the Nigeria Police and members of the civilian JTF mobilised to the scene and discovered 20 dead bodies and 48 injured persons in a suspected terrorist attack.

“The wounded and the dead were evacuated to a hospital while the scene was sanitised by a deployment of police EOD unit.

“Investigation is ongoing to unravel the nature of the attack,”he said.

Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, the Chairperson of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), who also confirmed the incident, said the agency had deployed its personnel to evacuate wounded persons to the hospital for quick medical attention.

“Our team has been deployed to render life saving support to the victims of the blast. As you can see,  they have been tirelessly working with ICRC since morning to evacuate the injured from the airport to the hospital.

“We are all saddened by the unfortunate incident that occured in Damboa,”said Kolo.

In the meantime, an oil storage tank at the Ras Lanuf oil port in Libya’s ‘oil crescent’ region was hit in new fighting on Sunday, a fire fighting official said.

The official said the Ras Lanuf’s storage tank No. II was hit and held 200,000 barrels of crude at the time.

NAN reports that armed clashes broke out on Thursday in the Libyan oil crescent region that contains the country’s main oil ports after an armed militia attacked army troops stationed there.

Information department of the army said in a statement that its forces defeated and expelled the Benghazi Defense Brigades, which tried to penetrate into the oil crescent region and ignite an oil reservoir in Veba oil field of al-Harouge oil company.

“The attack aims at easing the army’s firepower on the terrorists in Darna, of which liberation is very soon,” the statement said.

Earlier on Thursday, former chief of the Oil Installation Guards, Ibrahim Jathran, who is wanted by the Public Prosecutor, declared war in the oil crescent.

The state-owned National Oil Corporation also evacuated its employees from the ports of Ras Lanuf and Sidra for security reasons.

“The oil production dropped by an estimated of 240,000 barrels. An oil tanker that was supposed to arrive at Sidra port was postponed,” the corporation said in a statement, calling for “bringing to justice all individuals or groups trying to take over Libyan oil installation, besiege production operations, and use the Corporation to achieve their goals.”

A year ago, Jathran was involved in blocking oil exports with Benghazi Defence Brigades, as well as attacking oil ports, which was stopped later by the army forces.

In September 2016, the army took control of the oil crescent region and expelled forces loyal to Jathran, who closed major oil ports and cost the country billions of U.S. dollars of losses.


Foreign News

Israel Rejects Calls For Ceasefire Before UN Security Council



Israel at the United Nations Security Council in New York on Wednesday rejected calls for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza war.

Israeli UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan told the most powerful UN body that with a ceasefire in place, Israel would not be able to protect its citizens.

“Anyone who supports a ceasefire, basically supports Hamas’ continued reign of terror in Gaza,” he said.

One could not demand a ceasefire and at the same time claim to be seeking a solution to the conflict, Erdan said further, noting that the militant Hamas is not a partner for reliable peace.

“Hamas has publicly stated – you all saw it – that it will repeat Oct. 7 over and over again until Israel is no more.

“How would you respond and defend your citizens from such a clear threat with a ceasefire?” he queried.

Erdan maintained that there could only be an end to the violence if Hamas handed over all its hostages and everyone else involved in the attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

  • dpa
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Report of Israeli hostage family’s deaths overshadows negotiations on Gaza truce



Negotiations between Israel and Hamas to extend the Gaza truce were overshadowed at the last minute on Wednesday by an unconfirmed claim by Hamas that a family of Israeli hostages including a 10-month-old baby had been killed.

Shortly before the final release of women and children hostages scheduled under the truce, the military wing of Hamas said in a statement that the youngest hostage, baby Kfir Bibas, had been killed in an earlier Israeli bombing, along with his four-year-old brother Ariel and their mother.

Their father, who has also been held, was not mentioned in the statement.

Israeli officials said they were checking the Hamas claim, a highly emotive issue in Israel where the family is among the highest-profile civilian hostages yet to be freed.

“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is assessing the accuracy of the information,” the military said in a statement which added that it held Hamas responsible for the safety of all the hostages in Gaza.

Relatives had issued a special appeal for the family’s freedom after the children and their parents were excluded from the penultimate group freed on Tuesday.

An Israeli official said it would be impossible to extend the ceasefire on Thursday morning, due to a lapse, without a commitment to release all women and children among the hostages.

The official said Israel believed militants were still holding enough women and children to prolong the truce by 2-3 days.

Egyptian security sources also said negotiators believed a two-day extension was possible.

Families of those Israeli hostages due to be released later on Wednesday had already been informed earlier of their names, the final group to be freed under the truce unless negotiators succeeded in extending it.

Officials did not say at the time whether that included the Bibas family.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers published a list of 15 women and 15 teenage Palestinians to be released from Israeli jails in return for the hostages released on Wednesday.

The hostages were seized by militants in their deadly raid on Israel on Oct. 7.

For the first time since the truce began, the list of Palestinians to be freed included Palestinian citizens of Israel, as well as residents of occupied territory.

So far, Gaza militants have freed 60 Israeli women and children from among 240 hostages, under the deal that secured the war’s first truce.

At least 21 foreigners, mainly Thai farmworkers, were also freed under separate parallel deals.

In return, Israel has released 180 Palestinian security detainees, all women and teenagers.

The initial four-day truce was extended by 48 hours from Tuesday, and Israel said it would be willing to prolong it further for as long as Hamas frees 10 hostages a day.

But with fewer women and children still in captivity, that could mean agreeing to terms governing the release of at least some Israeli men for the first time.

A Palestinian official said negotiators were hammering out whether Israeli men would be released on different terms than the exchange for three Palestinian detainees each that had previously applied to the women and children.

Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy said Israel would consider any serious proposal, though he declined to provide further details.

“We are doing everything we can in order to get those hostages out. Nothing is confirmed until it is confirmed,” Levy told reporters in Tel Aviv.

“We’re talking about very sensitive negotiations in which human lives hang in the balance,” he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his earlier pledges to pursue the war to annihilate Hamas, once the ceasefire lapses.

“There is no way we are not going back to fighting until the end.

“This is my policy. The entire cabinet stands behind it. The entire government stands behind it. The soldiers stand behind it. The people stand behind it. This is exactly what we will do,” he said in a statement.

Tuesday’s release also included for the first time hostages held by Islamic Jihad, a separate militant group, as well as by Hamas itself.

“The ability of Hamas to secure the release of hostages held by other factions had been an issue in earlier talks.

The truce has brought the first respite to a war launched by Israel to annihilate Hamas after the “Black Shabbat” raid by gunmen who killed 1,200 people on the Jewish rest day, according to Israel’s tally.

Israeli bombardment has since reduced much of Gaza to a wasteland, with more than 15,000 people confirmed killed, 40 percent of them children, according to Palestinian health authorities deemed reliable by the United Nations.

Many more are feared buried under the ruins. The Palestinian health ministry said another 160 bodies had been pulled out of rubble during the past 24 hours of the truce, and around 6,500 people were still missing.

  • Reuters
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Israeli army says it has opened door leading to tunnel under hospital



The Israeli army says it has broken open the sealed blast door at the end of a suspected Hamas tunnel under the al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip.

The military published two pictures on social media platform X, formerly called Twitter, Tuesday evening showing the open door in a tunnel.

What exactly is behind the door remained unclear at first.

“Just through this door, underneath the Shifa Hospital, are Hamas’ terrorists tunnels.

“Here’s the PROOF of Hamas’ terrorism festering underneath hospitals,” the Israel Defense Forces said in their post on X.

However, the photographs were published without context and could not be independently verified.

The military suspects a command centre of the Islamist Hamas under the largest hospital in the Gaza Strip.

Buildings in the vicinity of the hospital were also suspected.

According to the army, a shaft uncovered a few days ago in the grounds of the embattled hospital led to a tunnel, at the end of which there was a locked “explosion-proof door” after 55 metres.

Israel says the tunnel leads to a network of Hamas tunnels and bunkers.

In spite of international criticism, Israeli soldiers have been engaging in combat operations in and around the Shifa hospital for days.

Israel accuses Hamas of misusing the hospital for “terrorist purposes.”

But Hamas denies this.

  • dpa


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