Daesh claims killing in Niger of French aid workers, guides

The wreckage of a burnt-out jeep where six French aid workers, their local guide and the driver were killed in southwestern Niger, August 9, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 17 September 2020

Daesh claims killing in Niger of French aid workers, guides

  • The six French humanitarian workers, aged between 25 and 30, their guide and their driver were killed on August 9 in the Koure National Park
  • The Daesh publication Al-Naba, authenticated by US monitoring group SITE, said that the eight had been killed following their capture in a “blitz attack”

PARIS: Daesh on Thursday claimed the killing in August of six French aid workers and their two local guides while they were visiting a nature reserve in the West African country of Niger.
The six French humanitarian workers, aged between 25 and 30, their guide and their driver were killed on August 9 in the Koure National Park, a wildlife haven 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Niger’s capital Niamey.
The statement, issued in the Daesh publication Al-Naba and authenticated by US monitoring group SITE, said that the eight had been killed following their capture in a “blitz attack.”
It claimed that the attack was considered “a major security lapse” for France, which has a 5,100 strong force deployed in the Sahel region of West Africa to fight militant groups.
French anti-terror prosecutors have already said that the attack appeared to be a “premeditated” strike against Westerners while it was unclear if the French aid workers and their NGO Acted were specifically targeted.
The area, which is famous for its giraffes, is a popular a destination for weekend leisure trips by Niamey residents, including foreigners.
French investigators have been sent to Niger to carry out the probe.
French President Emmanuel Macron has described the killings as “manifestly a terrorist attack” and said there would be repercussions.


Russia proposes new missile verification regime with US after demise of treaty

Updated 44 min 14 sec ago

Russia proposes new missile verification regime with US after demise of treaty

  • The United States withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year

MOSCOW: The Kremlin on Monday proposed that Russia and the United States agree not to deploy certain land-based missiles in Europe and introduce mutual verification measures to build trust following the demise of the INF nuclear arms control treaty.
The United States withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year, accusing Moscow of violating it, a charge denied by the Kremlin.
Global nuclear arms control architecture has come under further strain since then as the former Cold War foes have been unable to agree on a replacement to New START, another major arms control pact that is due to expire in February 2021.
On Monday, the Kremlin suggested “de-escalation” measures, such as allowing Russia to conduct checks on the US Aegis Ashore system in Europe, and the United States to check Russia’s 9M729 missiles in facilities in the exclave of Kaliningrad.
“We propose all interested sides to consider concrete options for mutual verification measures to remove existing concerns,” the Kremlin said in a statement on its website.
The INF pact had prohibited land-based missiles with a range of 310-3,400 miles, reducing the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.