Bolshoi ballet chief leaves for Germany treatment

Updated 04 February 2013
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Bolshoi ballet chief leaves for Germany treatment

MOSCOW: The Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director on Monday left Russia for Germany in the hope of recovering his eyesight after an acid attack, claiming he knew the mastermind behind the gruesome assault.
Sergei Filin — almost unrecognizable from the boyish-looking ex-dancer who headed the Bolshoi for the last two years — walked out of hospital wearing dark glasses and his face swollen.
Filin was supported by his wife as he left the Moscow burns unit where he had spent more than two weeks to fly to Germany. He was set for his first medical examination in the German city of Aachen later Monday.
“I feel good, I would even say excellent. If only my eyes saw a bit better,” Filin told journalists outside the hospital, describing his vision as “foggy and blurred.” “I sometimes open my eyes but what I see is only just enough to be able to sense objects or to wash, that is the maximum. We’re not talking about any serious vision at the moment,” he said, before getting into an ambulance that was taking him to the airport.
The 42-year-old has already undergone five operations on his eyes since being rushed to hospital on Jan. 17 after being splashed in the face with sulphuric acid in an attack that he has linked to his work at the theater.
The attack on Filin outside his apartment block in central Moscow revealed the dark intrigues swirling at the Bolshoi where Filin was a star dancer before going into management and becoming the ballet troupe’s artistic director in 2011.
In an interview with Russian television aired late Sunday, Filin said he believed he knew who masterminded the attack but was waiting for the results of the investigation.
“My heart knows who did it and in the depths of my soul I have the answer to this question, but it is my perception, my imagination, and so far it’s only what I can think to myself.” The attack was carried out by a man with his face concealed by a scarf, Filin said, adding he was sure that the perpetrator was simply carrying out a mastermind’s orders.
“Of course, the person who splashed me with acid from a jar and the people who ordered it are totally different people,” he told Rossiya 24 state television.
He linked the attack on him to the case of former Bolshoi ballet director Gennady Yanin, who in 2011 was forced to quit after a smear campaign in which photographs showing him apparently engaged in gay sex were posted on a website.


86 people killed in central Nigeria violence: police

Updated 25 June 2018
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86 people killed in central Nigeria violence: police

  • Analysts believe it could become Nigeria’s biggest security concern, eclipsing Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009
  • The violence — fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances — has killed thousands over several decades

JOS, Nigeria: Eighty-six people have been killed in an attack by suspected nomadic herders against farming communities in restive central Nigeria, police said on Sunday.
The discovery in the Barikin Ladi area of Plateau state came after days of violence apparently sparked by an attack by ethnic Berom farmers on Fulani herders on Thursday.
State police commissioner Undie Adie said a search of Berom villages in the area following clashes on Saturday found “86 persons altogether were killed.”
Adie told reporters six people were also injured and 50 houses razed. Bodies of those who died have been released to their families, he added.
The deaths are the latest in a long-running battle for land and resources that is putting President Muhammadu Buhari under pressure as elections approach next year.
The violence — fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances — has killed thousands over several decades.
Analysts believe it could become Nigeria’s biggest security concern, eclipsing Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009.
The Plateau state government said it had imposed restrictions on movements in the Riyom, Barikin Ladi and Jos South areas “to avert a breakdown of law and order.”
“The curfew takes effect immediately... and movement is restricted from 6:00 p.m. (1700 GMT) to 6:00 am, except (for) those on essential duties,” said spokesman Rufus Bature.
On Sunday, ethnic Berom youths set up barricades on the Jos-Abuja highway and attacked motorists who looked “Fulani and Muslim,” according to those who escaped the violence.
Plateau state police spokesman Tyopev Terna and Major Adam Umar, from the military taskforce in the state capital, Jos, confirmed the blockade and vandalism to several cars.
There were no official reports of deaths but Baba Bala, who escaped the violence on the road, said at least six people were killed.
“I was lucky the convoy of the (Plateau) state government was passing through the scene of the attack shortly after I ran into the attackers,” he said.
“I escaped with smashed windscreens and dents on my car. I saw six dead bodies and several damaged cars.”