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Nigeria: Jihadists kill Catholic priest in Katsina, kidnap another

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Illustration image: A church razed by Fulani Muslims in Northern part of Nigeria.

A Catholic priest, the Rev. Alphonsus Bello, was killed at the late hours of Thursday when jihadists attacked the Saint Vincent-Ferrer Catholic Church in Malunfashi Katsina state, in the northern region of Nigeria.

The jihadists also kidnapped another priest— Rev. Joe Keke , in the attack which left many people injured.

Padre Mike Umoh, National Social Communications Director, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, who confirmed the incident, said “Last night, one of the parishes of the Sokoto Diocese – St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church Malunfashi, in Katsina state – was attacked by unknown gunmen.

“Two priests were kidnapped, Frs. Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello. Fr Keke, the former parish priest, is in his late 70s while Fr. Bello, the current parish priest, is in his 30s.

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“This morning (Friday) the body of Fr Alphonsus Bello was found lifeless in the farmland behind the Catechetical Training School, Malunfashi. However, the whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke is still unknown. No contact has been made thus far.”

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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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