Three Nigerian soldiers killed in militant attack

Nigerian soldiers patrol the village of Tungushe after fighters from the Islamic State West Africa raided the on October 12, 2019. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 03 February 2020

Three Nigerian soldiers killed in militant attack

  • Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province stormed into the town of Askira late Friday
  • ‘Our men repelled the terrorists but we lost three soldiers and two trucks’

KANO, Nigeria: Daesh-affiliated militants have killed three Nigerian soldiers and seized two military vehicles in an attack in violence-wracked northeastern Borno state, security sources and residents said Monday.
Fighters from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), stormed into the town of Askira late Friday in a dozen pickup trucks fitted with machine guns, leading to clashes with troops and local vigilantes.
“Our men repelled the terrorists but we lost three soldiers and two trucks,” a military officer said adding that the insurgents suffered “heavy casualties,” without giving a toll.
Vigilante Adamu Galadima said an ambush was laid for the militants following information they were heading to the town.
“It was an intense fight and they were forced to withdraw. Three soldiers were killed and five residents were injured by stray bullets,” he said.
Another vigilante, Peter Malgwui, said the retreating militants raided Kilangar village, 15 kilometers (10 miles) away, looting drugs from a clinic and burning it.
On Sunday, ISWAP released a statement claiming it killed seven Nigerian troops and seized three vehicles in the Askira attack.
ISWAP, which split from the Boko Haram militant group in 2016, has focused on targeting military installations and troops since mid-2018.
Askira Uba district, which lies near Boko Haram’s Sambisa forest stronghold, has witnessed repeated militant attacks.
The decade-long violence has killed 36,000 people in the northeast and displaced around two million from their homes, creating a dire humanitarian crisis.
The conflict has spread to neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military response to combat the militant groups.


East China cities quarantine arrivals as virus spreads in S. Korea, Japan

Commuters wearing protective face masks amid fears of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus ride an elevated train in Bangkok. (AFP)
Updated 26 February 2020

East China cities quarantine arrivals as virus spreads in S. Korea, Japan

  • South Korea has reported 10 deaths and almost 1,000 infections, while Japan has 159 confirmed cases, not including 691 on a cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo

BEIJING: The eastern Chinese city of Qingdao is imposing a 14-day quarantine on all arrivals, state media reported on Tuesday, as China moves to address the threat of a rise in coronavirus cases in neighboring South Korea and nearby Japan.
People with suspected virus symptoms arriving in Qingdao, a major Northeast Asian transport hub in Shandong province, should be isolated in designated hospitals, while others are required to stay at their residences or designated hotels, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The rule came into force on Monday, Xinhua added, citing a local government statement.
“Apparently 100,000 South Koreans live in Qingdao, and there are normally over 300 flights a week between Seoul and Qingdao,” Michael Pettis, a finance professor at Peking University, said on Twitter. “This is likely to be disruptive to both economies.”
Another Shandong city, Weihai, said it would quarantine arrivals from Japan and South Korea from Tuesday — the first country-specific compulsory quarantine requirement by China, which has criticized travel restrictions implemented by other countries.
The measures comes as the virus, which started in China’s Hubei province, takes hold beyond the country.
South Korea has reported 10 deaths and almost 1,000 infections, while Japan has 159 confirmed cases, not including 691 on a cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo.
Weihai is also home to a sizeable Korean expatriate community. It lies near the eastern tip of the Shandong peninsula across the Yellow Sea from South Korea, and its quarantine rules apply both to Chinese and foreign nationals arriving in the city.
They will be put up in hotels free of charge for a 14-day quarantine period, according to a notice on the city’s official Wechat account.

HIGHLIGHTS

● Qingdao imposes 14-day quarantine on all arrivals.

● Shandong city Weihai singles out S. Korea, Japan arrivals.

● S. Korea has almost 1,000 cases; Japan cases up.

People who arrived in Weihai from South Korea or Japan from Feb. 10 onwards have already been contacted by the Weihai government, the statement said, adding it had “appropriately handled” cases of fever.
The government of a third Shandong port city, Yantai, on Tuesday said all business travelers and short-term visitors should stay in designated hotels.
Further north in China’s Liaoning province, the city of Liaoning — home to both North Korean and South Korean communities — is tightening screening of inbound passengers and will check the temperature of all arrivals, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
Sweden’s health agency said it would not introduce airport controls that take up resources but are “ineffective” because infected people may not show symptoms.
Ukraine International Airlines onboard personnel will wear rubber gloves and masks on flights from Italy.
Meanwhile, the drugmaker Moderna has shipped a potential coronavirus vaccine for humans to government researchers for testing.
Shares of the biotech company soared, a day after the company said it sent vials to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for early-stage testing in the US.