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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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Cameroonian soldiers hunting for separatist fighters kill civilians

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Cameroonian elite Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) members patrol the abandoned village of Ekona near Buea in the anglophone southwest region, Cameroon Oct. 4, 2018. (Zohra Bensemra/REUTERS)

No less than four civilians were killed Wednesday when the military invaded the village of Noni in the North West region, in search of English-speaking separatist fighters.

Houses were also set on fire by the soldiers who said they were looking for the leader of an Ambazonian separatist fighters, commonly known as “General No Pity”.

Three of the fighters seeking an independent state known as Ambazonia in the English-speaking region of the country were killed in the shooting with soldiers, an eyewitness said.

Many civilians has fled the community after mass arrest were made by the army, which wreaked havoc on the community.

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The army reportedly accused the killed and arrested civilians of not showing them the location of the separatist hideouts.

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Kenyan athlete Tirop found dead with stab wounds

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Kenya's Agnes Tirop, pictured after winning in the women's 5000m at the IAAF Diamond League competition in May 2019 in Stockholm (AFP/Jonathan NACKSTRAND)

Record-breaking Kenyan distance runner Agnes Tirop was found dead Wednesday with stab wounds to her stomach in a suspected homicide, athletics officials said.

Tirop, 25, was a fast-rising athlete — a double world 10,000m bronze medallist and 2015 world cross county champion who also finished fourth in the 5,000m at the Tokyo Olympics this year.

Only last month, she smashed the women-only 10 km world record at the Road to Records Event in Germany, with a time of 30:01, slicing 28 seconds off the previous record, Athletics Kenya said.

Tirop also made history in 2015 when she became the second-youngest ever gold medallist in the women’s cross country championships after South Africa’s Zola Budd.

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She was found dead at her home in the high altitude training town of Iten in western Kenya.

“Kenya has lost a jewel who was one of the fastest rising athletics giants on the international stage, thanks to her eye-catching performances on the track,” Athletics Kenya said in a statement.

“We are still working to unearth more details about her demise.”

– ‘A Kenyan hero’ –

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta paid tribute to the young athlete and urged the police to track down those behind her death.

“It is unsettling, utterly unfortunate and very sad that we’ve lost a young and promising athlete who, at a young age of 25 years, she had brought our country so much glory through her exploits on the global athletics stage,” he said in a statement.

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“It is even more painful that Agnes, a Kenyan hero by all measures, painfully lost her young life through a criminal act perpetuated by selfish and cowardly people,” he said.

On Saturday, another Kenyan long-distance athlete Hosea Mwok Macharinyang, a member of the country’s record-breaking world cross country team, died of what Kenyan athletics officials said was suicide.

Macharinyang, 35, was found in his home in West Pokot in western Kenya.

“He was such a brilliant athlete, committed to the sport where he competed for Kenya for many years in both cross country and the 5,000m and 10,000m races,” Jackson Pkemoi, the West Pokot representative of Athletics Kenya, told AFP.

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Macharinyang made a record eight appearances, and won three consecutive titles for Kenya in the World Cross Country Championships from 2006 to 2008.

Kenya is the most successful country in the cross country championships, having won 49 team and 27 individual titles.

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Soldier, 3 others killed as gunmen attack checkpoint in Enugu

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Soldiers patrol the Nigerian city of Jos, in the central Plateu State, in a bid to quell religious violence. EPA/George Esiri

A personnel of the Nigerian military was killed on Friday when unidentified gunmen attacked a police checkpoint along the Okija-Onitsha highway in Enugu State.

Nigerian army spokesman Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, who confirmed the incident, said soldiers killed three of the gunmen while others fled with gunshot wounds.

“The gallant troops engaged and overwhelmed the gunmen with superior firepower, forcing them to flee the scene. Troops however gave them a hot pursuit, and engaged the gunmen in a gun duel.

“The 3 gunmen, who drove in 2 Vehicles ( a Hilux and Hummer bus), eventually succumbed to troops’ effective firepower, while others fled with gunshot wounds.

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“Unfortunately, a soldier paid the supreme price, in the line of duty, for his country,” said Nwachukwu.

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