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Boko Haram torches military base a day after farmers killed

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Boko Haram jihadists have torched a military base in northeast Nigeria, a day after the group killed seven people in a separate raid, residents said.

Jihadists believed to be loyal to a Boko Haram faction that is recognised by the Islamic State group on Thursday attacked the base in Wajirko village, 150km from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, forcing the soldiers to flee.

“The gunmen arrived in pickups and engaged soldiers in the base just outside the village in a heavy shootout,” Wajirko resident Bukar Maduye said.

“The soldiers were outgunned and forced to withdraw from the base and allowed the gunmen, who were from Mamman Nur faction, to take over the base which they looted and set on fire,” he said, adding that villagers were not attacked.

The assailants were believed to be loyal to the faction headed by Abu Musab Al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf.

Barnawi was appointed last year by the Islamic State group to replace leader Abubakar Shekau.

But Barnawi’s right-hand man Mamman Nur, the alleged mastermind of a 2011 bombing of a UN building in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, is believed by many to be the real leader.

A vigilante assisting the military in its fight against Boko Haram confirmed the incident, adding that the soldiers had moved to a military base 40km away.

“There were no reports of casualties from either side but the (military) base was completely burnt by the Boko Haram terrorists and the soldiers fled,” Mustapha Karimbe said.

In a separate attack on Wednesday scores of Boko Haram fighters rode on motorcycles into Abbati, a farming community outside Maiduguri, where they killed seven men and stole 360 livestock.

“They slaughtered the two men they had forced to lead them to the community and shot dead the five owners of the cattle herds who had confronted them with bows and arrows,” said vigilante Babakura Kolo.

Barnawi and Mamman Nur have previously promised residents in areas under their control they would not be harmed as long as they did not cooperate with Nigerian troops fighting Boko Haram.

But in recent weeks the Islamist fighters have intensified raids in areas near Lake Chad, stealing food from residents.

They have also killed several civilians they accused of cooperating with the military.

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Ghana: video of police assault on nursing mother goes viral

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Ghana’s social media space – Facebook and Twitter – has been buzzing with a call for the arrest of a police officer for assaulting a nursing mother.

A viral video shows the said officer in what starts like a tussle with the woman in a banking hall. Subsequently, he is seen hitting the woman with an umbrella, punching and slapping her on the face.

Reports indicated that the woman, a client of the savings and loans company, where the incident occured had arrived when the company had closed.

She ostensibly got in despite the close of business and refused to leave till she could withdraw a sum of 250 cedis ($50). Social media users are calling for the immediate arrest of the police officer. 

Local media portals also report that the police heirachy has confirmed that a probe had been opened into the alleged incident and that due process was going to be pursued.

The video continues to be widely shared on Facebook with some prominent media personalities joining the calls for justice for the woman.

 

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Trump extends Somali immigrants’ stay in US

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Somalis living in the United States under protected status have been given permission by the Trump administration to remain in the country for at least another 18 months, because of ongoing violence in the North African nation.

At least 500 Somalis in the United States with Temporary Protected Status will be able to re-register for an extension of their status through March 17, 2020, according to a Thursday statement from the Department of Homeland Security. The status grants beneficiaries the ability to legally work while they are in the United States.

 

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