Gunmen kill 17 in Nigeria village attack

A girl pauses before burnt vehicle following a fire caused by a pipeline explosion in Lagos, on December 20, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 25 December 2018

Gunmen kill 17 in Nigeria village attack

KANO, Nigeria: Gunmen at the weekend killed 17 people in the latest attack on villages in northern Nigeria’s Zamfara state, witnesses and police said Monday.
The assault came just days after 25 people were killed in similar raids on two villages in the region and appeared to be part of a long-running cycle of violence between bandits and local communities. Gunmen on motorcycles stormed Magami village in the Maradun district area on Saturday, shooting indiscriminately as residents fled.
“After the attack, we collected 17... bodies, which we buried,” Magami resident Kasimu Bello told AFP. “The gunmen entered the village on several motorcycles, shooting people as they tried to flee,” he said. Another resident, Umaru Bawa, confirmed the attack, saying “the bandits pursued people like chickens and shot them dead as they ran into the bush.” On Wednesday, 25 people were killed when gunmen raided two villages in Birnin Magaji district.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the latest attacks and said that reinforcements would be deployed “to protect local populations.”
On Monday, two people died after police fired on hundreds of people displaced by the attacks in Tsafe district who were staging a protest, locals said.
“The protest turned violent and the protesters set a section of the local government secretariat on fire,” said Lawwali Umeh, a resident in the area.
“The police responded and fired at the crowd. Two people were killed,” he said. More than 40 people had been killed by bandits in 16 villages in the past two weeks, he said.
Another resident, Usmanu Abdullahi, confirmed the details of the protest. Farming and herding communities in Zamfara have for years been wracked by cattle rustling and kidnapping for ransom. That has prompted villagers to form vigilante gangs as a protection force. They have been accused of carrying out extrajudicial killings.
In April, troops were deployed to Zamfara to fight the gangs and police banned the civilian militia in an attempt to curb the cycle of reprisals.
Early this month, an influential traditional ruler in the state called for civilian militia members to be given assault rifles to defend themselves.
The continued raids by cattle thieves in Zamfara — as well as a conflict over resources between farmers and herders in central Nigeria — have added to Nigeria’s security challenges as the military battles Boko Haram jihadists in the northeast.


Biden slams Trump friendship with ‘thug’ Kim

Updated 23 October 2020

Biden slams Trump friendship with ‘thug’ Kim

  • Trump insists that he has avoided war through his summits with Kim Jong Un
  • Trump calls India, China air ‘filthy’ as he hits Biden’s stance on climate change

NASHVILLE, USA: Democratic candidate Joe Biden on Thursday denounced President Donald Trump for befriending North Korea’s “thug” leader, likening his diplomacy to working with Hitler.
In a sharp clash in their final presidential debate, Biden attacked Trump’s insistence that he has avoided war through his summits with Kim Jong Un.
“He’s talked about his good buddy, who’s a thug,” Biden said of the young North Korean leader.
“That’s like saying we had a good relationship with Hitler before he invaded Europe — the rest of Europe. Come on.”
But Biden indicated he was also willing to meet with Kim, saying his condition would be that Pyongyang works to make the Korean peninsula “a nuclear-free zone.”
Trump said that former president Barack Obama had left him “a mess” on North Korea and had warned him of the risk of “nuclear war.”
After the summits, “we have a very good relationship. And there’s no war,” said Trump, who also played down North Korea’s recent unveiling of a massive new long-range missile at a military parade.
“He didn’t like Obama,” Trump said of Kim not meeting the former president. “He didn’t like him. He wouldn’t do it.”
Biden, who was vice president under Obama, hit back that Obama would not meet Kim because he was pushing stronger sanctions.
“President Obama said we’re going to talk about denuclearization. We’re not going to legitimize you.”
Trump first met in June 2018 with Kim in Singapore, the first-ever summit between the countries still technically at war, and later said that the two leaders “fell in love.”
The two leaders have met two more times and North Korea has since held off on nuclear and missile tests but analysts say Pyongyang has kept advancing its weapons programs.

Climate change
On climate change, Trump described the air in India and China as “filthy” as he denounced Biden’s plans to tackle the controversial issue.
“Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia, look at India — it’s filthy. The air is filthy,” Trump said.
Trump charged that Biden’s climate plan was an “economic disaster” for oil states such as Texas and Oklahoma.
Biden said that climate change is “an existential threat to humanity. We have a moral obligation to deal with it.”
“We’re going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years,” he said.
The planet has already warmed by around one degree Celsius (34 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial levels, enough to boost the intensity of deadly heat waves, droughts and tropical storms.
Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, which aims to cap global warming “well below” two degrees Celsius.
Trump’s remarks come days before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper visit New Delhi for talks on building the growing US-India partnership.
At the first presidential debate, Trump also spoke critically of India, questioning its coronavirus data amid criticism of Trump’s handling of the pandemic.