Tag Archives: Mombasa

Attack on School in Northern Nigeria

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In Nigeria, suspected Boko Haram militants carried out an attack on a school in northern Nigeria.

At least twenty-nine students have been killed in Nigeria after suspected Boko Haram militants attacked a boarding school in the north-eastern region of the country.  According to on the ground sources, the remote school, which is located in the state of Yobe, was attacked overnight when students were in their dormitories.  All the twenty-nine victims were teenage boys while another eleven were seriously injured.  Most of the school was also burned to the ground.  Although no further information has been released, Nigeria’s military announced on Tuesday that it was pursuing the attackers.  A statement released by the military stated “we assure all law-abiding citizens that we will continue to do what is necessary to protect lives and property.”  President Goodluck Jonathan has since condemned the killings, calling them “heinous, brutal and mindless.”

Over the past year, Islamist militants have attacked dozens of schools in north-eastern Nigeria.  Last September, forty students were killed at an agricultural college during a similar raid which was also carried out at night.   Although the Nigerian government launched military operations in May last year to end Boko Haram’s four year insurgency, Nigeria’s armed forces are currently facing increasing criticism for their failure to protect civilians and to respond to the raids carried out by militants.

Meanwhile a court in Kenya dropped charges on Wednesday against forty-one men and released on bail twenty-nine others who were arrested earlier this month during a raid on a mosque, which has been accused of supporting Islamist extremists.

On 2 February, police raided Mombasa’s Musa mosque, detaining seventy men whom officials accused of attending radicalisation meeting.  The raid on the mosque sparked deadly rights in the port city.  The seventy men were all initially charged with being members of Somalia’s al-Shabaab along with a number of other charges, which included possession of firearms and inciting violence.  However on Wednesday, Magistrate Richard Oden-yo ordered forty-one of those charged to be set free due to a lack of evidence.  The remaining 29 suspects were released on bail, which was set at 500,000 Kenyan shillings (5,800 dollars; 4,200 euros each.  The releases came just one day after Kenya’s top security chiefs warned of an “increased threat of radicalization” from home-grown Islamists, singling out the Musa mosque as a specific centre encouraging extremism, along with two others.

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Air Strikes in Somalia; Dozens Die in Niger

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According to residents, an air strike in southern Somalia has killed two senior al-Shabaab commanders.  Meanwhile in Niger, a number of travellers are feared to have died of thirst while attempting to cross the Sahara on their way to Europe.

According to local residents, an air strike destroyed the vehicle of al-Shabaab militants who were travelling in between the towns of Jilib and Barawe, which is seen as a major base of al-Shabaab.  A Kenyan military source has indicated that their troops raided Jilib however it is unlikely that they carried out the airstrike.  Reports have indicated that the strike was probably a drone attack.  Jilib is located some 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of the port city of Kismayo.  The air strike comes weeks after the US launched a failed raid in Barawe earlier this month.  The US was believed o have sought to capture al-Shabaab commander Abdukadir Mohamed Abdukadir, also known as Ikrima, whoever US commands were forced to retreat after meeting heavy resistance.  Ikrima is an al-Shabaab leader who is responsible for logistics.  According to residents of Barawe, he is known to be usually accompanied by about twenty well-armed guards.

The US has previously carried out a number of air strikes in Somalia.  In 2008, a US strike killed al-Shabaab commander Aden Hashi Ayro.  One year later, another strike killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan.  He was accused of being involved in the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi along with the 2002 attacks on a hotel and airline in Mombasa.

Meanwhile in Niger, officials have stated that dozens of people traversing the Sahara desert, on their way to Europe, are feared to have died of thirst.  According to the governor of Agadez, five bodies have been found while a further thirty-five are missing after a vehicle carrying the passengers broke down, forcing them to set off in order to seek help.  The bodies found are of two women and three girls aged 9 – 11.  The rest of the travellers consisted of “entire families, including very many children and women.”

Reports have indicated that after one vehicle broke down, passengers went to look for spare parts in order to bring them back for repairs.  It is believed that the migrants broke up into small groups.  Days later, the survivors, who reached Arlit, a town known for its uranium mining, alerted the army however the troops arrived too late at the scene.  The authorities have called off the search for the missing.    According to the mayor of Agadex, Rhissa Feltou, two vehicles had left the town of Arlit, which is located north of Agadez, earlier this month.  They were carrying “at least” sixty migrants.    The city of Agadez lies on one of the main migrant routes from West Africa to Europe.

Over the past month, hundreds of migrants have died after their boats sans as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

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