Nigeria military base attack kills at least 20

Updated 04 March 2013
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Nigeria military base attack kills at least 20

KANO, Nigeria: Nigeria’s military said yesterday that it killed at leat 20 Boko Haram fighters while repelling an attack by the extremist group in the embattled northeastern state of Borno.
“Boko Haram terrorists attempted to attack a military barracks (in Borno) at about 5:00 a.m. (0400 GMT),” spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said in a statement.
He said the attack occurred in the village of Monguno, about 200 km from Borno’s restive capital of Maiduguri, considered Boko Haram’s home base where the radical group has been blamed for scores of deadly attacks.
The raid on the military barracks “was repelled,” Musa said. “The encounter led to the deaths of 20 Boko Haram terrorists.” He made no mention of military casualties.
Musa said the gunmen, armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, had stormed the military site in three 4X4 trucks and eight motorcycles.
Separately, two militants linked to a series of explosions in Maiduguri that injured four people last week have been arrested by the military, he added.
Boko Haram’s insurgency is estimated to have left 3,000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces.
The fighters have said they are fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, but their demands have repeatedly shifted.
A video posted on YouTube last month featured gunmen claiming to be from Boko Haram who said they abducted a French family of seven from a Cameroon nature park near the Nigerian border.
The video marked a departure for the group, which had never before claimed the kidnapping of a Westerner and some have questioned whether the Nigerian Islamists did in fact carry out the abductions.
France has said that Boko Haram was responsible for the attack and are likely holding the family members, including four children, in Nigeria.
Boko Haram is believed to include a number of factions with varying degrees of coordination, and some criminal groups are suspected of carrying out attacks under the guise of belonging to the movement.
The main faction of the militia is thought to be led by Abubakar Shekau, who was designated a global terrorist by the United States last year.
Several experts have cast doubt on the suggestion that Shekau’s faction was directly involved in the kidnapping of the French family.
Boko Haram has rarely attacked foreign targets, with most of its violence directed at Nigeria’s security services, politicians and other symbols of authority.
Churches have also been repeatedly targeted in the country roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and mostly Christian south.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer, which has also seen waves of violence by militants and gangs in the oil-rich south.


EU and US police cripple Daesh media mouthpieces

Updated 6 min 2 sec ago
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EU and US police cripple Daesh media mouthpieces

THE HAGUE: EU and US police forces have crippled the main mouthpieces of the Daesh militant group in a coordinated transatlantic takedown across several countries, the European police agency said Friday.
“With this ground-breaking operation we have punched a big hole in the capability of Daesh to spread propaganda online and radicalize young people in Europe,” the head of Europol Rob Wainwright said.
The two-day operation on Wednesday and Thursday was the latest stage of a campaign first launched in 2015, and targeted in particular the Amaq news agency used by Daesh to broadcast claims of attacks and spread its message of jihad.
“With this takedown action, targeting major Daesh-branded media outlets like Amaq, but also Al-Bayan radio, Halumu and Nashir news, Daesh’s capability to broadcast and publicize terrorist material has been compromised,” Europol said in a statement.
The “simultaneous multinational takedown” was coordinated via Europol’s headquarters in The Hague with the support of Eurojust, the EU agency for judicial cooperation in criminal matters.
It was led by the Belgian federal prosecutor, while national police forces seized servers in the Netherlands, Canada and the United States as well as digital material in Bulgaria, France and Romania.
Britain’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit was also involved in identifying “top-level domain registrars abused by IS,” Europol said.
Europol began warning about the rise of Amaq in late 2015, stressing “the technical resilience of the terrorist online infrastructure.”
“Since then law enforcement agencies have, in a continuous joint effort, taken down the web assets of the media outlet,” it said.
Daesh used Amaq in 2016 to claim attacks all over the world and the Middle East, including the deadly assaults in Paris, Brussels, Barcelona and Berlin.
It also used Amaq to claim the March supermarket siege in Trebes, France where a 25-year-old gunman killed four people, including a policeman who took the place of a hostage.