Boko Haram kill 14 loggers in northeast Nigeria: Sources

The bodies of the men were found at Duwabayi village near the garrison town of Monguno in Borno state late Tuesday by other loggers. (AP)
Updated 01 May 2019

Boko Haram kill 14 loggers in northeast Nigeria: Sources

  • The violence has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military response to fight the radical Islamist group

KANO, Nigeria: Boko Haram jihadists have killed 14 loggers as they collected firewood in northeast Nigeria, residents and anti-Boko Haram militia have told AFP.
The bodies of the men were found at Duwabayi village near the garrison town of Monguno in Borno state late Tuesday by other loggers.
“The bodies of the 14 men were evacuated to the police station in Monguno after some people reported seeing the bodies,” a militia leader in the town said.
Duwabayi village was deserted last year after residents fled into camps in Monguno due to Boko Haram attacks.
Fighters loyal to an IS-backed faction of the jihadists are known to operate in the area.
“Fourteen dead bodies were brought this evening to Monguno and people have been going to the police station to see if they could identify them,” Monguno resident Kulo Gana said.
Another resident, Bunami Mukhtar, said the corpses had “bullet wounds.”
The loggers were among thousands of people sheltering in camps in the town after being displaced by the jihadists.
Those in the camps rely on food aid to eat but some turn to felling vegetation, in order to sell to buy extra produce.
Monguno, 135 kilometers north of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, houses a military base.
The town has been repeatedly attacked by jihadists, who have made several failed attempts to overrun the base.
Boko Haram militants have also repeatedly targeted farmers, loggers and herders, accusing them of passing information to the military and pro-government militia fighting them.
Four farmers were killed in an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on March 19 in a drive-by shooting as they worked on their farms outside Borno’s Askira town.
Boko Haram’s decade-long conflict has killed more than 27,000 people and displaced 1.8 million others in the northeast.
The violence has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military response to fight the radical Islamist group.


Washington braces as crowds converge for Trump’s July Fourth fireworks, racial protests

Updated 51 min 32 sec ago

Washington braces as crowds converge for Trump’s July Fourth fireworks, racial protests

  • Disregarding the Washington mayor’s warnings of the risk of gathering as many US states mark a record number of new COVID-19 cases, crowds began to assemble early
  • Trump’s Fourth of July event follows a Friday night speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota where he accused “angry mobs” of trying to erase history

WASHINGTON: Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to converge on Saturday in the heart of Washington, where US President Donald Trump will host an Independence Day fireworks display and military flyover, while protesters will march for racial equality.
Disregarding the Washington mayor’s warnings of the risk of gathering as many US states mark a record number of new COVID-19 cases, crowds began to assemble early on a hot Saturday morning.
Police officers blocked off streets around the White House, Black Lives Matter Plaza and the Lincoln Memorial, where demonstrators planned to join one of the dozen organized protests in advance of Trump’s nighttime address on the South Lawn.
Activist groups pledged to hold peaceful protests for reforms following the May killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Millions of Americans responded in June by marching against police brutality and racial inequality, leading to widespread removal of Confederate statues and other symbols of America’s legacy of slavery.
Trump’s Fourth of July event follows a Friday night speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota where he accused “angry mobs” of trying to erase history and used the speech to paint himself as a bulwark against left-wing extremism.
Joe Biden, Trump’s Democratic rival in the November election, struck a contrasting note with the Republican president and accused him in a Fourth of July op-ed of finding every day “new ways to tarnish and dismantle our democracy.”
“We have a chance now to give the marginalized, the demonized, the isolated, the oppressed, a full share of the American dream,” Biden said in a separate letter to donors.
In his Mount Rushmore speech, Trump made little mention of the pandemic that has hit his re-election hopes, even as COVID-19 moved further into Trump’s inner circle. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a senior campaign official and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., tested positive in South Dakota before the event.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser had tried to dissuade the Trump administration from holding the fireworks display over the National Mall and informed the Department of the Interior that it went against health officials’ guidance amid the pandemic.
Apart from fireworks spectators, activists of different stripes also appeared willing to disregard the health warnings.
Roar of the Deplorables, a bikers group, said via social media that they, too, were planning to gather in Washington on Saturday to stand in protest against what they call “the anti-Trump regime” and to celebrate the nation’s birthday.
Freedom Fighters DC, a new activist group which seeks to rally an ethnically diverse generation of supporters behind liberty for all people, especially the Black population of Washington, is one of the anti-racism groups ignoring the mayor’s heed to refrain from gathering.
“Black folks are not free from the chains of oppression, so we don’t get to truly celebrate Independence Day,” said Kerrigan Williams, 22, one of the founders of the group, which will host a march and an arts demonstration on Saturday afternoon.
“We’re marching today to showcase that Black folks are still fighting for the simple liberties that the constitution is said to provide.”