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One killed, others injured in Police, robbers gun duel

Wisdom Nwachukwu



A member of an alleged armed robbery syndicate terrorizing Isiagu area in Awka South local government area of Anambra State has been killed by Police.

Other suspected members of the gang escaped into the bush when they engaged members of the State Anti- Robbery Squad SARs and vigilance men in a gun duel.

The incident happened at Isiagu ring road Awka, Awka South local government area of Anambra State around 9 pm on Friday

According to reports the suspects, numbering over six, had robbed three occupants of a black Accura legend Car with Lagos Registration number SMK878GL of their valuables at gunpoint.

Police Public Relation’s Officer, PPRO, Mohammed Haruna, confirmed this to The Nation in Awka.

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He said the Command got to know the robbery operation through a distress call and swung into action immediately.

Haruna said efforts were still on by the command to apprehend the other suspects on the run, assuring residents not to panic

According to him: “Following the distress call, Police operatives attached to the Command Special Anti -Robbery Squad (SARS) CPS Awka and local vigilante quickly responded and rushed to the scene.

“As soon as the suspected armed robbers sighted the police, they engaged them into a fierce gun battle, forcing the hoodlums to jettison the robbery operation and scamper into the bush for safety.

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“However, during the gun duel, one of the gang members, whose identity is yet unknown was fatally wounded

He said items recovered from the suspects include one fabricated gun, three cartridges, one torchlight, three assorted handsets, and a cash sum of money allegedly snatched from the victims.

“The injured Suspect was rushed to the hospital for treatment but certified dead on arrival by a medical doctor and his corpse deposited in the mortuary,” he added.

However, he said the bush where the suspects ran into had been cordoned off by the Police, which according to him, led to the recovery of another fabricated pistol with four rounds of .9mm life ammunition.

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Haruna appealed to residents to report to the nearest police station, any person with bullet injuries to enable the Command to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the injury.



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US Special military forces rescues an American citizen in Nigeria

Benjamin Ukpabi



US military forces rescued an American citizen in Nigeria, the Pentagon said on Saturday, days after he was kidnapped by gunmen in the south of neighbouring Niger and apparently taken across the border.

The hostage, Philip Walton, was abducted Monday night on the outskirts of Massalata, a village about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Nigeria.

Walton is safe and in the care of the US State Department, the Pentagon said in a statement. US forces did not suffer any casualties in the rescue operation, it added.

“The United States is committed to the safe return of all US citizens taken captive,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a separate statement.

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“We delivered on that commitment late last night in Nigeria, where some of our bravest and most skilled warriors rescued a US citizen,” he said.

President Donald Trump hailed the rescue operation.

“Big win for our very elite U.S. Special Forces today. Details to follow!,” he tweeted.

Niger’s Defence Minister Issoufou Katambe had earlier confirmed the hostage release to AFP without giving details about how he had been freed.

Local officials had said this week that the kidnappers had called the man’s father to demand a ransom, though the family did not confirm this.

Walton had been living in Massalata with his wife and child for two years, according to his father, who himself has been in Niger for nearly 30 years.

Niger lies in the heart of the vast Sahel region, which is struggling with a jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes.

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US forces have two drone bases in Agadez and Dirkou, in northern Niger. Their aircraft provide significant support to the French anti-jihadist Barkhane force.

In October 2017, four American Special Forces soldiers and five Nigerien soldiers were killed in an ambush in Tongo Tongo, near Mali, in southwestern Niger.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

Several Westerners are currently being held hostage in the region, including American aid worker Jeffery Woodke, who was kidnapped in the central town of Abalak in 2016 and is believed to be in neighbouring Mali now.

Three Europeans, including 75-year-old French charity worker Sophie Petronin, were released by their captors in Mali earlier this month under a prisoner swap arranged by the Malian government.

In August, six French aid workers and two Niger citizens were killed in the Koure wildlife reserve west of Niamey, in an attack claimed by the so-called Islamic State

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FG threatens to make migration difficult for doctors

Wisdom Nwachukwu



Dr Osagie Ehanire, The Minister for Health, made it clear that the federal government will do everything within her power to discourage doctors from travelling outside Nigeria.

The Minister said that the government will provide adequate medical facilities and also provide incentives that will discourage the Doctors from traveling outside the country, he said this on Friday in Abuja after inspecting the Cancer Centre in the National Hospital Abuja.

He said “I have heard the challenge of doctors leaving the country. We have plans to provide better funding for our hospitals in Nigeria and make such migration unattractive,”

Dr Osagie Ehanire praised the hospital staffs and administration, and encouraged them to better, he urged the hospital to be ready incase the global corona virus resurface again as seen in other countries. He advised the hospital to make judicious use of the funds made available to them.

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He added “Schools are resuming, people are travelling in and out the country so we must be prepared for any emergency”.

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Banks commence emergency system update due to threats from Anonymous

Wisdom Nwachukwu



A global hacktivist network known as Anonymous stirred an aggressive campaign in Nigeria two weeks ago, Nigerian banks as part of the precautionary measure has decided embark on an immediate emergency upgrade.

Mohammed Abdullahi Minister of State for Science and Technology confirmed the threat from Anonymous, he clearly stated there was a well planned attacks on important government Databases.

Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, also  admitted that some government websites were tampered with. He said: ‘‘On my instruction, the NITDA and NCC worked almost round the clock last week to rectify the situation and ensure no vital data was compromised. I am happy the websites are back and running now.”

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He also assured Nigerians that stringent measures have been take taken to avoid further attacks,  emphasized  for all the relevant organization to upgrade their system.



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