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Friday, 9 March 2012

NEWS


Killers of Briton, Italian will face the law – Jonathan
By John Bulus with agency reports

Birnin-Kebbi - Two hostages, a Briton and an Italian, who were kidnapped in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State and held hostage since last May by Islamic sect, Boko Haram, have been killed in an attempted rescue operation in Sokoto. 


In his immediate reaction, President Goodluck Jonathan, who condemned the killing of the two kidnapped foreigners before they could be rescued by a joint security raid, however, said those who were responsible had been arrested
Jonathan “condemned the killing of two kidnapped foreigners — an Italian and a British citizen — in Sokoto state Thursday by their Boko Haram captors before they could be rescued by a joint security raid on the kidnappers’ hideout,” a statement from his office said.
The statement added: “The president, who particularly commended the cooperation and understanding of the British and Italian governments, assured that the perpetrators of the murderous act, who have all been arrested, would be made to face the full wrath of the law.”
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti phoned Jonathan to ask him to provide “a detailed reconstruction” of events leading up to the shooting of the hostages, his office in Rome said.
But former Italian prime minister Massimo d’Alema, who is now in charge of a parliamentary committee dealing with security issues, criticized the attempted rescue operation, which he said was apparently mounted by British and Nigerian forces without Italy being notified.
The effort to free Chris McManus, from the North West of England, and his colleague Franco Lamolinara was launched by British special forces and the Nigerian army.
Sky sources said there were no fatalities on the British and Nigerian forces' side but there were several fatalities among the hostage-takers.
A foreign agency reporter saw an ambulance ferrying away wounded people, but could not get close enough to see who was inside. Security forces cordoned off the area, blocking journalists from getting within a kilometer (around a half mile) of the site.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the pair appeared to have died at the hands of their captors, either before or during the course of the rescue bid.
Sky sources said it was believed there was a fight and during the assault the UK and Nigerian forces could not get to Mr McManus and Mr Lamolinara in time.
The sources said: "It strongly appears that the hostage-takers shot the hostages."
The rescue bid was launched after the UK received credible information about their whereabouts and that their lives were under increasing threat.
Speaking in Downing Street, Mr Cameron said Mr McManus and Mr Lamolinara were "taken hostage by terrorists" in northern Nigeria May last year.
He said: "Since then, we have been working closely with the Nigerian authorities to try to find Chris and Franco, and to secure their release. The terrorists holding the two hostages made very clear threats to take their lives, including in a video that was posted on the internet.
"After months of not knowing where they were being held, we received credible information about their location. A window of opportunity arose to secure their release.
"We also had reason to believe that their lives were under imminent and growing danger. Preparations were made to mount an operation to attempt to rescue Chris and Franco.
"Together with the Nigerian government, today I authorised it to go ahead, with UK support. It is with great regret that I have to say that both Chris and Franco have lost their lives.
"We are still awaiting confirmation of the details, but the early indications are clear that both men were murdered by their captors, before they could be rescued."
He added: "Our immediate thoughts must be with Chris and Franco's families, and we offer them our sincerest condolences."
The Italian government also confirmed that th two hostages were dead
Mr McManus and Mr Lamolinara – contract workers for the construction company B Stabilini, were kidnapped by gunmen who stormed the apartment they shared in Birnin-Kebbi. The two men were in the city building a bank.
…kills DPO, three policemen
Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen, suspected to be adherents of Boko Haram Islamic sect, Wednesday night, attacked yet another police station located in Gombe State, killing four officers including the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of the station, Superintendent Abubarkar Sadiq.
The attack occurred at the popular Ashaka Cement Factory in Bajoga town, Funakaye Local Government of the state.
The Gombe Divisional Police Station in the state capital was attacked penultimate Friday resulting in the killing of some officers and a few civilians in the process.
Eye-witnesses said the gunmen also attacked two commercial banks in the vicinity at about 7. 30pm.
The assailants allegedly used Improvised Explosives Devices, IEDs and a hand grenade in the attack.
The Gombe State Police Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Ahmed Abubarkar confirmed the attack, yesterday.
"Last night, there was an attack at Bajoga out-station. As a result of the attack, four people lost their lives. They included the DPO, Bagoja, Abuabarkar Sadiq.
''When the Police of Commissioner received information about the incident, he quickly went to Mobile Police Unit, MOPOL, and drafted the Amoured Personnel Carrier, APC to the scene.
"Already, we have a Quick Response Squad, QRS, for such a situation. They were able to reach there on time to bring the situation under control. Right now, our men are there and will continue to be there until the situation improves.
''The gunmen also attacked two banks but we could not ascertain whether their vaults were opened or not because there were remnants of the explosives and right now, our anti-bombs squad are there to detonate the remaining ones. Investigation is still on-going."
Many had feared that the attack at the early stage was directed at the Ashaka Cement Factory which is centre of commercial activities in the area, but the PPRO said the factory was not attacked.
The tense security situation in the state prompted the imposition of 24 hours curfew which was only relaxed by some hours on Monday.
Several Western hostages abducted in the Sahel and Nigeria have been killed over recent years by their captors during their kidnapping or their captivity:
- June 3, 2009: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) says it has killed Briton Edwin Dyer. He was one of a group of Westerners kidnapped by Islamic extremists in the Sahel region on the border between Mali and Niger in December 2008 and January 2009. Three other European tourists, two Swiss and one German, are freed in April and July.
- July 25, 2010: AQIM says that it has killed French hostage Michel Germaneau, kidnapped in northern Niger on April 19 and transferred to Mali, in revenge for the killing of seven comrades in a failed Mauritanian-French rescue raid.
- January 8, 2011: Two young Frenchmen — Antoine De Leocour and Vincent Delory — are killed a day after being kidnapped from a restaurant in central Niamey and transferred to Mali. Their bodies are found after a desert rescue operation bid by the Niger military.
- November 25, 2011: A German is killed and three other foreigners abducted in the centre of the ancient tourist city of Timbuktu in northern Mali. The victim is shot dead after trying to resist his abduction. AQIM, which claims responsibility for the abductions, threatens to kill the other three hostages, one of whom is Swedish, one Dutch and one of dual British-South African nationality.
- March 8, 2012: A Briton and an Italian — Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara — who were seized by gunmen in May 2011 — are killed by their captors before the men can be rescued in a Nigerian military operation backed operationally by Britain. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says the pair was murdered by the resurgent Islamist group Boko Haram.

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Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & interest..one day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
Johannesburg
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in e.news. So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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