45 dead in attack by armed bandits in northern Nigeria: civilian militia

45 dead in attack by armed bandits in northern Nigeria: civilian militia
Military and police are overstretched in Nigeria, which, along with fighting Boko Haram militants in the north, is battling militants and pirates in the oil-rich south. (AFP)
Updated 06 May 2018

45 dead in attack by armed bandits in northern Nigeria: civilian militia

45 dead in attack by armed bandits in northern Nigeria: civilian militia

KANO, Nigeria: 45 people died in an attack by armed bandits in northern Nigeria, civilian militia members said on Sunday, amid growing levels of rural violence often involving cattle theft, robbery and kidnappings for ransom.
“The 45 bodies were found scattered in the bush. The bandits pursued residents who mobilized to defend the village after overpowering them,” said a vigilante who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.
“The dead included children abandoned by their parents during the attack.
“The attackers were obviously armed bandits from neighboring Zamfara state who have been terrorizing Birnin Gwari area...,” he added.
The vigilante said the bandits struck Gwaska village in Kaduna state at about 2:30pm (1330 GMT) Saturday and stayed for three hours before retreating to their base in the forest in Zamfara.
“They burnt down many homes,” he said.
A spokesman for the Kaduna state police, Mukhtar Aliyu, confirmed the attack by “armed bandits” but said they were unable to give further details.
The killings follow the death of at least 25 people in separate attacks in northern Nigeria last week.
Thirteen people were killed in prolonged clashes between cattle thieves and local civilian militia in Zamfara.
In Adamawa, in the northeast, meanwhile, at least 12 people were killed in an attack on several villages.
The attacks underlined the diversity of Nigeria’s security threats that persist in the absence of a robust police force and efficient judicial system.
Nigeria is in the grip of a security crisis as nomadic herders and sedentary farmers fight over land in an increasingly bloody battle for resources.
Rural communities in Zamfara have been under siege for several years from cattle rustlers and kidnapping gangs, who have raided herding communities, killing, looting and burning homes.
To defend themselves, villages and herdsmen form vigilante groups, but they too are often accused of extra-judicial killings, provoking a bloody cycle of retaliatory attacks.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticized for failing to curb the violence, which is becoming a key election issue ahead of the upcoming presidential polls in 2018.
Military and police are overstretched in Nigeria, which, along with fighting Boko Haram militants in the north, is battling militants and pirates in the oil-rich south, a simmering separatist movement in the east and a bloody battle between herdsmen and farmers spanning the vast central region.


Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
Updated 25 January 2021

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions

Greece, France to sign $2.8 billion fighter jet deal amid Turkey tensions
  • Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft
  • France has sided with Greece in a dispute with Turkey over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean

ATHENS, Greece: Greece signed a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) deal with France on Monday to purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions remain high with neighbor Turkey.
Florence Parly, the French defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft built by Dassault Aviation over two years, starting in July.
France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades.
Tension spiked again last summer when a Turkish exploration mission in disputed waters triggered a dangerous military build-up.
Greece and Turkey have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving the dispute peacefully. Senior diplomats from the two countries met in Istanbul Monday to resume the process that had been interrupted for nearly five years.
But Athens says it will continue a multibillion-euro program to upgrade its military following years of cuts due to the country’s financial crisis.
France and the United States are in competition to provide the Greek navy with new frigates, while Greece’s government recently approved plans to cooperate with Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems to create a new military flight academy in southern Greece.
“The upgrade in the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force by means of both the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and the new state-of-the-art training center is critical for Greece to present a credible deterrence,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, told The Associated Press.
“It also provides Athens an enhanced ability to exercise more strategic autonomy when EU and NATO frameworks are deemed inadequate, making Greece more of a player in its own right.”
Starting in May, mandatory national service in the Greek Armed Forces will be increased from nine to 12 months to boost the number of people serving in uniform. While in Athens, Parly will also holding talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.