BREAKING: US military rescues citizen from bandits in Nigeria
BREAKING: US military rescues citizen from bandits in Nigeria
An American citizen, Philip Walton, abducted by suspected bandits last week in Niger Republic has been rescued during a high-risk U.S. military raid in neighboring Nigeria.
Officials told ABC News early Saturday that the mission was undertaken by elite commandos as part of a major effort to free the 27-year-old U.S. citizen before his abductors could get far after taking him captive in Niger on October 26, counterterrorism.
According to report, the operation involved the governments of the U.S., Niger and Nigeria working together to rescue Walton quickly. It said the elite SEAL Team Six carried out the rescue mission and killed all but one of the captors, according to officials with direct knowledge about the operation.
“U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men,” said Pentagon chief spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman. “This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation.
“We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation.”
U.S. and Nigerien officials had said that Walton was kidnapped from his backyard last Monday after assailants asked him for money. But he only offered $40 USD and was then taken away by force, according to sources in Niger.
Walton lives with his wife and young daughter on a farm near Massalata, a small village close to the border with Nigeria.
Nigerien and American officials told ABC News that they believed the captors were from an armed group from Nigeria and that it was not considered it terror-related. But hostages are often sold to terrorist groups.
Concern grew quickly after the kidnapping that an opportunity to rescue Walton could become much more dangerous if he was taken by or sold to a group of Islamist militants aligned with either al Qaeda or ISIS and American special operations commanders felt they needed to act swiftly before that could occur, said one counterterrorism official briefed on the hostage recovery operations.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson confirmed after the kidnapping that an American citizen had been abducted in Niger and said the U.S. government was “providing their family all possible consular assistance.” The spokesperson declined to comment on the case, citing “privacy considerations,” but added, “When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families however we can.”
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Gunmen Attack Anambra Police Station, Kill Four Officers
Unknown gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday attacked a police station located in Atani, the headquarters of Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
It was gathered that the gunmen launched the attack on the police facility around 1:30 am on Wednesday.
A further report had it that four police officers were killed in the attack.
Since the emergence of Charles Soludo as the Governor of Anambra State there had been series of attacks on police and government facilities in the state.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the state police command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, has confirmed the development.
He said, “The hoodlums came around 1 a.m., and unlucky for us, four police operatives paid the supreme price.”
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng on hearing of the attack immediately mobilized men of the command from various units to the area.
“The hoodlums were still there when the CP personally led men of the command to the affected area, and the timely arrival saved the day and the hoodlums were successfully repelled, and the facility was saved.
“We have commenced intelligence already, and we hope to unravel the persons behind the attack.”
Troops repel attack, eliminate scores of terrorists/bandits in Sokoto — Official
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, in conjunction with other security agencies have eliminated scores of Islamic States for West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists and bandits in Sokoto State.
Defence Headquarters said on Monday in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Sawyer.
He said the terrorists were eliminated during a foiled attack on the Forward Operation Base (FOB) at Burkusuma, a remote border settlement with Niger Republic in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
“The aggressive operations of troops of the FOB as witnessed in recent months in the North West region, had been a thorn in the flesh of ISWAP terrorists and bandits.”
Sawyer stated that the attackers who came in large numbers using telecom network provided from neighboring country, capitalised on the lean rear area protection force.
“This was when the main troops were out conducting offensive operations within their area of responsibility.’’
He disclosed that, the troops recorded an undisclosed number of casualties during the encounter.
“However, the swift reinforcement by own troops helped to counter the attack as many of the ISWAP fighters were eliminated, while some scrambled with various degrees of injuries.
“Troops are currently in hot pursuit of the criminals to Bassira in Niger Republic,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nigerian and Nigerien forces in a collaborative operation are currently trailing the remaining ISWAP fighters.
“General security within the FOB and its environs has been stabilised,” he said.
Arms proliferation: Navy urges FG to build walls across borders
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
The Nigerian Navy has urged the Federal Government to build a wall across the country’s borders to stop proliferation of arms and ammunition.
Commodore Jemima Malafa, who represented the Nigerian Navy, said this during an interactive session on four bills pending before the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence on Monday in Abuja.
“We should build a wall between our country and the neighbouring countries,” she said.
“I was in Chad recently and discovered that most of the countries that surround us do not have armouries and that is why most of their citizens get arms that they sell to make money.
“I blame foreign countries that sold and donated arms and ammunition for them without recourse to where they would keep them after use.
“It is as a result of this that Nigeria is in deep crisis; these arms and ammunition will always find their way to Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four bills – the first is a bill for an act to establish the National Commission against the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Others are a bill for an act to repeal the Explosives Act, and bill for an act to make provision for the integration of private Close Circuit Television (CCTV) into the national security network in Nigeria.
The last one is a bill for an act to designate the month of November as the National Appreciation Month for Security Agencies.
Mr Shehu Ahmed, representative of the Department of Security Service (DSS) in his contribution said the proposed bill for the establishment of the commission was commendable.
He, however, said that the appointment of members to be in charge of the commission should have nothing to do with politics because of the sensitive nature of the commission.
He said that the Director-General of the commission should not be encumbered with too much power, adding that people of questionable characters should not be allowed to work in such office.
He called for the independence of the commission, adding that henceforth, it did not have to source for staff from other security agencies.
He said that on CCTV, all the security agencies should have access to it to aide investigation of any kind, adding that the explosive act bill would help achieve the desired national security.
Commodore Friday Ogohi, a representative of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) said that the bill on National Commission would help in the effective control of light weapons.
He said that the structure of the commission should be hinged on command and control, adding that membership should be drawn from existing security agencies based on experience.
He said that though the supervising ministry was not indicated in the proposed bill, adding that it was advisable that the Ministry of Defence oversaw the commission.
Ogohi also called for the establishment of special court to arrest the menace of arms smugglers and illegal arms, stressing that the CCTV would further boost the fight against bandits and other criminality.
According to him, public places such as schools, churches and work places should be considered for CCTV as this will help to monitor the activities of scavengers by security agencies.
Air Commodore Olasunkami Abu, who represented the Chief of Air Staff, said that proliferation of arms was posing a great threat to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
He said that this portends a great danger to national security, adding that membership of the commission should be drawn from the armed forces and the immigration.
NAN reports that other security agencies that made presentation are the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, among others.
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