At least 20 killed in mosque bombing in Nigeria

Updated 29 December 2015
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At least 20 killed in mosque bombing in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: About 20 people were killed and 90 wounded by a bomb explosion in a mosque in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Monday, the state emergency agency NEMA said.
The blast came a day after the army fought Boko Haram militants west of Maiduguri, capital of Borno state and birthplace of their campaign to create an Islamic state in the northeast of Africa’s most populous country.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the blast bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed thousands and displaced some 2.1 million people in the region.
Monday’s blast happened in a western suburb where the army had exchanged fire on Sunday with suspected Boko Haram fighters who it said had tried to slip into Maiduguri to stage suicide bombings. Residents then reported explosions and heavy gunfire.
Musa Abdukadir, a resident, said that after the mosque attack he had counted the bodies of more than 50 victims in the state specialist hospital in Maiduguri. Medics had told him more bodies had been brought to two other hospitals. The count included victims from Sunday’s fighting.
“We all fled yesterday as our houses were on fire. This morning we came back, and while we were counting the people who had burned in the houses, another bomb exploded,” said Ibrahim Goni, a resident who said he had visited the blast scene.
An army counter-offensive earlier this year recaptured most of the territory Boko Haram had seized over the past few years. Boko Haram has since reverted to a strategy of hitting soft targets such as markets, bus stations and places of worship, as well as hit-and-run attacks on villages, mainly in Borno state.

(Reporting by Lanre Ola and Isaac Abraq)


India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

Updated 22 September 2019

India seizes one ton of ketamine on boat, arrests six Myanmar crew

  • India’s coast guard seized $42 million worth of ketamine

NEW DELHI: India’s coast guard has arrested six Myanmar men and seized $42 million worth of ketamine after spotting a suspicious vessel in the Indian Ocean near the Nicobar Islands.
The 1,160-kilogram drug haul came after coast guard aircraft spotted the boat, which had its lights off, on Wednesday in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the defense ministry said in a statement.
The boat’s crew did not respond to radio calls and the coast guard eventually boarded it, with officials finding “57 gunny bundles of suspicious substance” on Friday.
“Preliminary analysis ... revealed that the suspicious substance was ketamine and there were 1,160 packets of 1kg each onboard the vessel,” the ministry added.
The six Myanmar men and cargo were taken to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where they were questioned by investigators.
They claimed they left Myanmar on September 14 and were due to rendezvous with another boat “operating near the Thailand-Malaysia maritime border line” on Saturday, the statement said.
The Nicobar Islands are located near Southeast Asia, off Myanmar’s coast.
Parts of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand are in the lawless “Golden Triangle” zone, the world’s second-largest drug-producing region after Latin America.
Large amounts drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine are churned out in remote jungle labs each year and smuggled across Asia and beyond.