More than 50 people were killed in a Boko Haram ambush on an oil exploration team in northeast Nigeria earlier this week, multiple sources told AFP on Thursday, warning the death toll could rise.
Tuesday’s attack in the Magumeri area of Borno state on a convoy of specialists from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was the Islamist militants’ deadliest in months.
It underscored the persistent threat posed by the jihadists, despite government claims they were a spent force, and also the risks associated with the hunt for crude in the volatile Lake Chad basin.
Details of the ambush, which was initially thought to be a kidnapping attempt, have been slow to emerge and an exact death toll difficult to establish, as the military strictly controls access to rural Borno.
Telecommunications and other infrastructure have been severely damaged or destroyed in the conflict, which has left at least 20,000 dead and more than 2.6 million homeless since 2009.
The army said on Wednesday that 10 people were killed in the attack.
But one source involved in dealing with the aftermath told AFP on Thursday: “The death toll keeps mounting. Now we have more than 50… and more bodies are coming in.
“It’s clear that the attack wasn’t for abduction. They (Boko Haram) attacked just to kill.”
– Missing staff –
An aid agency worker in Magumeri, which is 50 kilometres (32 miles) northwest of Maiduguri, said 47 bodies were recovered from the bush as of Wednesday evening.
“Eleven of them were badly burned in the attack. They were burned alive in their vehicle, which was stuck in a trench,” he added.
“We buried them here because they couldn’t be taken to Maiduguri.
“This evening (Thursday), six more bodies were recovered, including one soldier, and many more could be recovered because search and rescue teams are all over the place.”
A medical source at the Nigerian Army 7th Division headquarters at Maimalari barracks in Maiduguri said: “So far we have 18 dead soldiers. Ten were brought yesterday and eight more today.”
At the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), a medical worker said: “We have 19 bodies at the moment of civilians.
“Fifteen of them were vigilantes (civilian militia) and four were staff from the university. They have been taken for burial.”
The head of the academic staff union at the University of Maiduguri, Dani Mamman, confirmed they had received four bodies and said two of them were academics.
“We got the impression our staff on the team were rescued because that was what the military spokesman said yesterday,” he added.
“But we were shocked when we were given four dead bodies. This means it wasn’t a rescue.
“We still have other staff that are yet to be accounted for.”
Source: ( AFP )
Address Nigerians over #EndSARS protests – Senate urges Buhari
The Nigerian Senate has called on President Buhari to urgently address the nation so as to douse the tension in the country.
This comes as hoodlums continue to carry out various attacks on #EndSARS protesters and others in some parts of the country.
The Senators made the call for President Buhari to speak to the Nation after a motion was moved by Senator Biodun Olujimi and co-sponsored by all Senators on the ongoing nationwide protests believed to have been hijacked by hoodlums.
Part of the resolution of the Senators after deliberation include:
-Urge all tiers of government to put in place and sustain policies of social economic reforms that raise the standard of lives of our people;
-Call upon the Police to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment;
-Urge the Inspector General of Police to ensure a holistic comprehensive reforms of the police to increase the overall welfare including training and medical insurance of all members of the Nigeria Police Force
-Appeal to all Nigerians to resort to use of legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts;
-Urge the Nigerian youths and the Nigerian citizens to approach the National Assembly Committees Constitution and Reforms in order to secure far-reaching holistic amendments that are vital to the restructuring of our federation
-Urge the Federal Government to faithfully and comprehensively implement all the five demands of the #EndSARS movement and protesters with necessary timelines to rekindle confidence in government
-Appeal to #EndSARS movement and protesters to kindly in the interest of everyone stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue; 7. Urge Mr. President to address the nation as soon as possible on these issues.
-Police should make it a duty to accompany protesters and should be involved in protecting genuine protesters.
IGP Deploys Personnel Over Attacks On Police Stations
With the rising violence in the country, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate deployment of anti-riot police personnel from the Police Mobile Force (PMF).
This is a move to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians and secure critical national infrastructure across the country.
The IGP’s order was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Force spokesman, Frank Mba.
Mba said the IGP also “ordered massive deployment of Police operatives to strengthen the security around Correctional facilities nationwide.”
“The orders are coming on the heels of increasing attacks including acts of arson and malicious damage to public and private facilities as recorded in some states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”
#EndSARS: Address Nigerians Now – Senate Tells Buhari
The Nigeria Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately address Nigerians on the ongoing #EndSARS protest rocking most parts of the country.
The Senate gave the directive during its plenary on Tuesday.
The lawmakers also ordered the Nigerian police to protect all #EndSARS protesters to prevent hoodlums from hijacking their genuine action.
The Senate also urged #EndSARS protesters to halt their march to enable the federal government to meet their demands.
The Senate asked President Buhari to set up a judicial panel of inquiry made up of eminent Nigerians that would be respected by the youths to identify the notorious SARS operatives and ensure their arrest and prosecution.
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