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11 police officers dead, 4 missing after ambush

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Militants in Nigeria — Image used for illustration

Authorities in Burkina Faso said that an ambush on a police unit in the country’s conflict-hit north has left at least 11 officers dead and four others missing.

According to a government statement released on Tuesday, the officers were attacked while on a relief mission to Yirgou, a town that has been hit by recent violence.

Burkinabé Security Minister Ousseini Compaore added that joint search operations with the army have been under way since Monday.

Only seven police officers are known to have survived the ambush, authorities from the security ministry said, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities said that there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, though they do suspect Islamic extremists who have been actively violent in the region recently.

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The United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the humanitarian context in the cross-border area between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger continues to deteriorate.

Security trends showcase a continuous increase in the number of incidents since the beginning of the year, said OCHA.

In early June, the northern village of Solhan was hit by the deadliest attack since the start of the conflict, with at least 138 people killed, reported news broadcaster Al Jazeera.

The massacre prompted a mass exodus of more than 7 000 families searching for more secure places, said local media.

Burkina Faso on June 17 launched a two-day huddle gathering of governing and opposition parties to discuss the country’s worsening jihadist insurgency, reported AFP.

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More than 1 400 people have died and around one million have fled their homes since 2015, when jihadists from Mali widened their campaign into Burkina Faso and Niger.

African News Agency (ANA) 

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Judge adjourns Kanu’s trial as DSS refuses to bring him to court

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Nnamdi Kanu, rights activist and Biafran pro-independence leader

ABUJA — Binta Nyako, the judge presiding over the trial of Biafran pro-independence leader, Nnamdi Kanu, has adjourned the trial until October 21, 2021.

The judge said the adjournment was due to the refusal of Nigeria’s secret security, Department of State Services (DSS), to bring the separatist leader to court.

Meanwhile, Some lawyers who arrived at the Federal High Court in Abuja for the trial were barred from entering the court.

DSS which denied them entry into court, has disclosed no reason for the undemocratic action, prompting many to ask if the separatist leader will be tried secretly.

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Kanu, whose trial was scheduled to resume today Monday, July 26, 2021, faces charges of treason and other unfounded crimes for calling for a referendum on an independent state of Biafra in the east of the country.

He was seized in Kenya and illegally repatriated to Nigeria after fleeing to Israel in 2017 when his home was raided by soldiers who killed scores of civilians in an attempt to assassinate him.

Many of his supporters, including two foreign journalists, were arrested on Monday at the court premises after international media and numerous media organizations in the country were prevented from covering the trial.

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In south-eastern Nigeria, residents closed markets and some entry points into towns to show solidarity with the detained activist.

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Nigeria bans international media, others from covering Kanu’s trial

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No reason was given by authorities who refused to comment on the sudden violation of press freedom and citizens' rights to monitor a trial.

ABUJA — Nigeria’s Department of State Services has banned international and other media from covering the trial of Biafran pro-independence leader, Nnamdi Kanu, in court.

A statement signed by Chief Information Officer, Catherine Oby Christopher noted that the DSS has only accredited 10 Nigerian media organizations, namely: ThisDay, Premium Times, The Nation, Daily Independent, The Herald, National Television Authority , Continental Television, African Independent Television, Daily Post and Channels Television.

No reason was given by authorities who refused to comment on the sudden violation of press freedom and citizens’ rights to monitor a trial.

Nnamdi Kanu, human rights activist is currently being held in the Nigeria’s Department of State Services detention center in Abuja after being seized in Kenya and illegally repatriated to the country.

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The separatist leader who had fled to Israel in 2017 when his home was raided by soldiers who killed many civilians in an attempt to assassinate him, faces charges of treason and other unfounded crimes, for calling for a referendum on the independent state of Biafra in the east of the country.

Many anxiously await his trial to resume in court Today July 26, 2021.

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Policeman shoots student for not wearing mask in DR Congo

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Security forces standby in Kinshasa during demonstrations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on 19 and 20 December 2016.

A Democratic Republic of Congo policeman has shot a student who was not wearing a mask while filming on the streets of the capital, witnesses said on Sunday.

“Our friend Honore Shama, a student in the faculty of arts at the University of Kinshasa, was filming a video as part of his acting practical work requirement,” Patient Odia, a friend who was present at the confrontation, told AFP.

“A policeman told him to wear a mask during the filming.”

“Despite his (Shama’s) explanations and after having showed him a mask, the policeman, who was expecting to be offered money, became infuriated, accused him of resisting and shot him at point-blank range.”

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Other witnesses told a similar story to the popular Top Congo radio as well as several online news sites.

The policeman responsible has fled and the city’s police are searching for him, the head of Kinshasa police, General Sylvano Kasongo, told AFP.

“Police have detained two police officers, present during the incident provoked by their irresponsible colleague… as well as the head” of a local police station, he said.

“The search continues to find the fugitive policeman,” Kasongo said.

Wearing a mask is obligatory in DR Congo, with transgressors fined 10,000 Congolese frances (five dollars, four euros).

In Kinshasa, police are regularly accused of harassment and of pocketing the mask fines they collect.

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DR Congo has registered 47,786 Covid-19 cases and 1,021 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Vaccinations have been halted in the country since July 10, because the AstraZeneca vaccines in stock passed their expiration date.

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