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Posts tagged ‘Islamic state’

Boko Haram Killing Spree Claims 110 Nigerians.


Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, Davide Perillo
Jos Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, president of the Bishops Conference of Nigeria, speaks with journalist Davide Perillo.

The militant Islamist sect Boko Haram is suspected of killing at least 110 people of various faiths across Nigeria during the past week, prompting the country’s top Catholic bishop to declare the rebel movement “has no limits.”

On Thursday, gunmen killed the Rev. Augustine Yohana, a Catholic priest, and two of his sons in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Yobe, then set their home and church building ablaze.

The Nigerian news service Daily Trust quoted one of Yoahana’s surviving sons, Ibrahim, as saying the gunmen arrived in their town of Garinbaba in the middle of the night, “woke us up, asked us to lie down in front of the church, tied our hands with rope and said they are security personnel on a search mission.”

No arrests have yet been made.

A Christian leader in the area, who asked that his name not be used to help preserve his safety, told World Watch Monitor the attackers were members of Boko Haram.

“My life and that of many other Christians in the state is in danger and we are only hoping that the government will take necessary measures to stop these endless killings in the state,” he said.

In the neighboring northeastern state of Borno, suspected Boko Haram attackers raided the town of Gamboru twice. The first attack, on Wednesday night, killed six. The second, late Thursday, killed a further 21.

On Saturday, in the central state of Kaduna, gunmen moved into the town of Zangang in the early-morning hours, burned homes and killed 15 people. Hundreds of residents fled the village. Guardian News Nigeria cited a survivor of the attack as saying most of the victims were young people on their way into the farm fields.

The Northern States Governors Forum has said it suspects Boko Haram of the attack.

Then, at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, about 30 gunmen stormed the Agricultural College campus in Gujba, Yobe state. They roused the sleeping students, gathered them into a single place, and shot them. News accounts vary about the number of students killed, initially putting the death toll between 40 and 50, and later increasing it to 65. Several other students were injured, and many dodged gunfire as they fled into the surrounding countryside.

Some of the college buildings were set on fire. After visiting with hospitalized victims Sunday, a tearful Yobe Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam implored Nigerian security forces to improve vigilance against violence.

Msgr. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, archbishop of Jos and president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, on Monday issued a statement that noted most of the victims of the attack at the college were Muslim.

“In the beginning the aim of Boko Haram was to attack Christians in order to destabilize the community. But now the ferocity of the members of this movement has no limits to the point of slaughtering even those who should be their fellow Muslims,” Kaigama said through the Catholic news service Agenzia Fides. “Boko Haram has made further progress in the sophistication and ferocity of their attacks but it is now made up of fanatics who have lost their original goal.”

The leadership of Boko Haram has declared its intent to wipe out Nigerian democracy and replace it with an Islamic state guided by sharia law.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and others condemned the killings and urged the federal government to intensify efforts to stop the Islamic insurgents who have killed thousands of people in the northern parts of the country.

“There is fear and apprehension in the length and breadth of this nation, but Jesus said: Take courage,” he said Sunday at a service to mark Nigeria’s 53rd year of independence.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

BREAKING NEWS: 11 Killed By Boko Haram Bomb In A Kano Drinking Joint.


By SaharaReporters, New York

Saharareporters has just learnt that at least 11 people have died in a drinking joint on New Road in  Sabon Garin area of Kano following the explosion of a an improvised Explosive Device believed to have been planted by Bopko Haram.

A security source in Kano told Saharareporters that after the bomb exploded heavily armed militants shot and killed several patrons of the bar as they tried to run to safety.

The death toll was likely to be higher than 11 according to our source..

“Our people on the scene and have reported that they have so far recovered 11 bodies from the scene of the attack,” says the source.

He added that the recovery process is still ongoing., we expect to recover more bodies.

Witnesses on the scene have stated that there might have been more than one bomb explosion.

Sabo Garin, which literally means visitors quarters has a high concentration of christian elements from the Southern parts of Nigeria. Boko Haram has in the past targeted churches, bars and clubs frequented by non-indigenes in the area.

Obama-Backed Syrian Rebels Are Actually Al-Qaeda Soldiers.


Obama is currently funding the Syrian rebels

After the carnage unfolded at the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, a potential gun running scheme to arm Libyan and perhaps even Syrian rebels was uncovered. The troubling aspect of arming said rebels is the fact that, according to some intelligence experts, those rebels are actually al-Qaeda.

obama-funding-syrian-rebels-al-qaeda-benghazi

Now, al-Qaeda in Iraq has acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday that al-Nusra Front, the rebel faction fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, is indeed part of its network.

What’s more, the militant jihadist group said it is fighting to establish an Islamic state in the country.

The remarks, made by Iraqi al-Qaeda leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and published in Al Aribya have finally confirmed longheld suspicions that the two groups are one in the same.

“It’s now time to declare in front of the people of the Levant and [the] world that the al-Nusra Front is but an extension of the Islamic State in Iraq and part of it,” the SITE Monitoring Service quoted Baghdadi as saying in a speech released on jihadist forums Monday.

The two groups will now reportedly merge and be called the “Islamic State in Iraq” and the “Levant.”

The Syrian rebels aren’t the only ones who could receive support from al Qaeda. Baghdadi said that al Qaeda would furnish support to other jihadists “on the condition that the country and its citizens be governed according to the rules dictated by Allah.”

Al-Nusra Front was labeled a “terrorist” group by Washington back in December over its suspected affiliation to al-Qaeda in Iraq. Back then, U.S. State Department dubbed al-Nursa as simply a “new alias” for al-Qaeda in Iraq, saying it was “an attempt by AQI to hijack the struggles of the Syrian people for its own malign purposes.”

Al Aribya also notes that jihadist forums online reveal that hundreds of radicals have traversed from Iraq into Syria to lead the charge against Assad’s regime. source – The Blaze

by NTEB News Desk

Syrian Islamist groups reject Western-backed opposition, declare Islamic state in key city.


BEIRUT – Syria’s increasingly powerful Islamist rebel factions rejected the country’s new Western-backed opposition coalition and unilaterally declared an Islamic state in the key battleground ofAleppo, a sign of the seemingly intractable splits among those fighting to topple President Bashar Assad.

The move highlights the struggle over the direction of the rebellion at a time when the opposition is trying to gain the West’s trust and secure a flow of weapons to fight the regime. The rising profile of the extremist faction among the rebels could doom those efforts.

Such divisions have hobbled the opposition over the course of the uprising, which has descended into a bloody civil war. According to activists, nearly 40,000 people have been killed since the revolt began 20 months ago. The fighting has been particularly extreme in Aleppo, Syria‘s largest city and a major front in the civil war since the summer.

Salman Shaikh, director of The Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, said Monday the Islamists’ declaration will unsettle both Western backers of the Syrian opposition and groups inside Syria, ranging from secularists to the Christian minority.

“They have to feel that the future of their country could be slipping away,” Shaikh said. “This is a sign of things to come the longer this goes on. The Islamist groups and extremists will increasingly be forging alliances and taking matters into their own hands.” The West is particularly concerned about sending weapons to rebels for fear they could end up in extremists’ hands.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that since the new opposition group has endorsed pluralism and tolerance, “it’s not surprising to us that those who want an extremist state, or a heavily Islamist state in Syria have taken issue with this.”

The Islamists’ announcement, made in an online video released Sunday, shows the competing influences within the rebellion, between religious hard-liners who want to create an Islamic state in Syria — including foreign al-Qaida-style jihadi fighters — and the newly formed Syrian National Coalition, which was created earlier this month in hopes of uniting the disparate groups fighting Assad’s regime.

The National Coalition was formed under pressure from the United States, which sought a more reliable partner that nations could support. Key to its credibility is whether it can ensure the support of the multiple, highly independent rebel brigades battling on the ground across the country within Syria, which largely ignored the previous opposition political leadership, made up of exiles.

In the new video, 13 Islamic radical factions denounced the coalition as a foreign creation.

Most important among them were the al-Tawheed Brigade, which is one of the largest rebel groups operating in Aleppo, and Jabhat al-Nusra — Arabic for “the Support Front” — which is mainly made up of foreign jihadi fighters. Jabhat al-Nusra has become notorious for suicide bombings targeting regime and military facilities and is at the forefront of fighting in Aleppo.

“We are the representatives of the fighting formations in Aleppo and we declare our rejection of the conspiratorial project, the so-called national alliance,” an unidentified speaker said in the video. “We have unanimously agreed to urgently establish an Islamic state.”

He spoke at the head of a conference table where about 20 others were gathered, with a black Islamist flag behind them.

The authenticity of the video could not be independently confirmed, but it was released on a website that carries al-Qaida and other militant statements, as well as on the al-Tawheed Brigade website.

The new opposition bloc, formed Nov. 11 in Qatar, is trying to allay fears of extremism within the rebellion. A moderate cleric, Mouaz al-Khatib, was chosen as its leader in an attempt to establish the movement’s religious credentials with the public while countering more radical factions.

In Cairo, al-Khatib played down the significance of those who reject the alliance, saying, “we will keep in contact with them for more co-operation in the interest of the Syrian people.” He also announced that the coalition would be headquartered in the Egyptian capital.

The coalition is gaining some traction internationally. France was the first Western nation to recognize it as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people. France also welcomed a member of the Syrian opposition as the country’s ambassador.

Turkey and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council also recognized the group as the representative of the Syrian people.

But the United States and Italy have been somewhat less forthcoming. President Barack Obama has said the U.S. needed more time and wanted to make sure that the group “is committed to a democratic Syria, an inclusive Syria, a moderate Syria.”

He also says the U.S. isn’t considering sending weapons to the opposition because of concerns the arms might fall into the hands of extremists.

Italy took a similar view, recognizing the opposition as legitimate but stopping there.

On Monday, European Union foreign ministers gave the bloc a vote of confidence but stopped short of offering official diplomatic recognition because that can only be decided by each member country individually. Still, the endorsement of the coalition as a legitimate voice for Syria’s people represents a major step forward in Western acceptance for the group.

“The EU considers them legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people,” the bloc’s 27 foreign ministers said in a statement at the end of their monthly meeting in Brussels.

Some EU members have suggested arming the Syrian opposition, but the idea has gotten little traction.

Currently, the EU has an embargo prohibiting the shipment of arms into Syria, which is likely to be renewed later this week. A senior EU official said last week that shipping weapons to Syrian rebels while keeping an embargo against the Assad regime in place would be difficult to enforce.

The violence in Syria threatens to inflame an already combustible region. The fighting already has already spilled into Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Germany’s defence minister said Monday he expects Turkey to make a formal request to NATO for Patriot missiles to bolster anti-aircraft defences along the border with Syria.

“It may be — I expect it — that there will be a request by the Turkish government to NATO today for Patriot missiles to be stationed on the Turkish border,” Thomas de Maiziere said ahead of the EU meeting.

NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said no such request had been received yet from Ankara, but that if it was it would be considered “as a matter of urgency.”

“The situation along the Syrian-Turkish border is of great concern,” Fogh Rasmussen said as he arrived for a meeting with the European Union’s foreign and defence ministers. “We have all plans in place to defend and protect Turkey if needed.”

Although the civil war has left Assad isolated internationally, Iran has stuck by Damascus.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said Monday that Tehran has started building a $10 billion natural gas pipeline to Syria as part of efforts to boost Iran’s energy sector, which has been battered by international sanctions.

The 1,500-kilometre (900-mile) pipeline will pass through Iraq before reaching Syria.

___

Associated Press writers Barbara Surk in Beirut, Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, Maamoun Youssef in Cairo, Matthew Lee in Washington and Slobodan Lekic and Don Melvin in Brussels contributed to this report.

 Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Elizabeth A. Kennedy, The Associated Press | Associated Press

Nigerian forces making Islamist insurgency worse: Amnesty.


ABUJA (Reuters) – Human rights abuses committed by Nigeria‘s security forces in their fight against Islamist sect Boko Haram are fuelling the very insurgency they are meant to quell, Amnesty International said on Thursday.

Boko Haram says it wants to create an Islamic state in Nigeria and its fighters have killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks targeting security forces, politicians and civilians since launching an uprising in 2009. The sect has become the top security threat to Africa’s biggest energy producer.

The Amnesty report said Nigeria’s security forces acted outside the rule of law and their brutal tactics could build support for Boko Haram outside its extremist core.

The Nigerian police said in a statement that it would study the report’s findings but it was concerned about the strength of sources used in the study, while a military spokesman contacted by Reuters rejected the report as “biased and mischievous”.

“The cycle of attack and counter-attack has been marked by unlawful violence on both sides, with devastating consequences for the human rights of those trapped in the middle,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Every injustice carried out in the name of security only fuels more terrorism, creating a vicious circle of murder and destruction.”

The report is likely to add to calls for Nigeria’s security forces to change its heavy-handed approach to tackling the insurgency, which critics have long said is driving desperate youths into the arms of Boko Haram.

EXECUTIONS

It details cases of abuses stretching back to the start of the Boko Haram uprising in 2009.

The report said a “significant number” of people accused of links with Boko Haram had been executed after arrest without due process, while hundreds were detained without charge or trial and many of those arrested disappeared or were later found dead.

“People are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from Boko Haram and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should be protecting them,” Shetty said.

Amnesty said it had spoken to witnesses who described seeing people who were unarmed and lying down with their hands over their heads shot at close range by soldiers.

In one case, a widow described how soldiers put a gun against her husband’s head three times and told him to say his last prayers before shooting him dead. They then burned down their home. She now fends for her seven children alone.

“(We) have begun a comprehensive and critical study of the report with a view to establishing its veracity and relevance,” a statement from the Nigerian police said on Thursday.

“The fact that most of the sources of the content of the report are not named … puts the authenticity, credibility and legitimacy of the report in question.”

Defense spokesman Colonel Mohammed Yerima said that Nigerian forces only kill Boko Haram suspects during gunfights, never in executions

“We don’t torture people. We interview a suspect, if he is not involved we let him go. If he is involved we hand him to the police,” he said. “I totally disagree with this report. It is biased and it is mischievous.”

Amnesty said it had sent a delegation to the states worst affected by the insurgency, Kano and Borno, between February and July to investigate reported atrocities.

(Editing by Tim Cocks and Myra MacDonald)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Joe Brock | Reuters

Nigerian forces making Islamist insurgency worse: Amnesty.


ABUJA (Reuters) – Human rights abuses committed by Nigeria‘s security forces in their fight against Islamist sect Boko Haram are fuelling the very insurgency they are meant to quell, Amnesty International said on Thursday.

Boko Haram says it wants to create an Islamic state in Nigeria and its fighters have killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks targeting security forces, politicians and civilians since launching an uprising in 2009. The sect has become the No. 1 security threat to Africa’s top energy producer.

The Amnesty report said Nigeria’s security forces acted outside the rule of law and their brutal tactics could build support for Boko Haram outside its extremist core.

A Nigerian military spokesman contacted by Reuters rejected the report as “biased and mischievous”.

“The cycle of attack and counter-attack has been marked by unlawful violence on both sides, with devastating consequences for the human rights of those trapped in the middle,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Every injustice carried out in the name of security only fuels more terrorism, creating a vicious circle of murder and destruction.”

The report is likely to add to calls for Nigeria’s military to change its heavy-handed approach to tackling the insurgency, which critics have long said is driving desperate youths into the arms of Boko Haram.

It details cases of abuses stretching back to the start of the Boko Haram uprising in 2009.

The report said a “significant number” of people accused of links with Boko Haram had been executed after arrest without due process, while hundreds were detained without charge or trial and many of those arrested disappeared or were later found dead.

“People are living in a climate of fear and insecurity, vulnerable to attack from Boko Haram and facing human rights violations at the hands of the very state security forces which should be protecting them,” Shetty said.

Amnesty said it had spoken to witnesses who described seeing people who were unarmed and lying down with their hands over their heads shot at close range by soldiers.

In one case, a widow described how soldiers put a gun against her husband’s head three times and told him to say his last prayers before shooting him dead. They then burned down their home. She now fends for her seven children alone.

Defense spokesman Colonel Mohammed Yerima said that Nigerian forces only kill Boko Haram suspects during gunfights, never in executions

“We don’t torture people. We interview a suspect, if he is not involved we let him go. If he is involved we hand him to the police,” he said. “I totally disagree with this report. It is biased and it is mischievous.”

Amnesty said it had sent a delegation to the states worst affected by the insurgency, Kano and Borno, between February and July to investigate reported atrocities.

(Editing by Tim Cocks and Patrick Graham)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Joe Brock | Reuters

Niger seeks joint southern border patrols to bar Boko Haram.


NIAMEY (Reuters) – Niger, struggling to keep Islamist movements from spilling in from its north and south, wants to start joint military patrols along its border with Nigeria, the government said.

The West African state has so far managed to avoid a rebellion that split neighboring Mali in two, but is now worried about Islamist fighters from Nigeria’s Boko Haram sect to the south.

“Our cooperation must be reinforced by starting joint patrols along the border, which have been planned but delayed,” Niger Justice Minister Marou Amadou said on state television late on Saturday after a meeting with Nigerian officials.

“Niger is determined to combine its efforts with others… to face the threat that al Qaeda and Boko Haram pose for security in our countries,” he said.

Niger and Nigeria have been debating the possibility of joint patrols along their 1,500-km (900-mile) border since 2008, but have yet to start them even with Boko Haram now waging a low-level insurgency against Nigeria’s government.

Boko Haram, whose name translates roughly to “Western education is bad” in the local Haussa language, wants to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria, and has been blamed for hundreds of deaths in bombings and shootings.

In Mali, a Tuareg separatist rebellion early this year was hijacked by rebel groups linked to al Qaeda, seeking to impose a strict version of sharia (Islamic law).

Since January, Niger – one of the world’s poorest and least developed countries – has reinforced its border operations to keep such instability from spilling over.

Some 3,000 Nigerien troops were deployed along the northern border with Mali, Algeria and Libya and special forces units along the southern border with Nigeria.

Niger also uses aerial surveillance to police its vast and uranium-rich northern desert, where al Qaeda’s north African wing is known to operate, officials said.

At the end of September, Niger security forces arrested five people suspected of being Boko Haram operatives in the Zinder region bordering Nigeria.

A military official told Reuters that Boko Haram members try to cross the border nearly daily but that they are likely transiting toward rebel-occupied northern Mali instead of setting up camps in Niger.

(Reporting by Abdoulaye Massalatchi; Writing by Richard Valdmanis)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

Reuters

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