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Several feared killed after bandits in Nigeria bomb Abuja-Kaduna train

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Several passengers on board an Abuja-Kaduna train, were feared killed after bandits attacked the train with bombs and IED explosives on Monday night.

The train which had about 970 passengers on board, was said to have departed Abuja at 6pm and was expected to arrive at Kaduna at 8pm, but was attacked by the bandits at about 7.45pm between Katari and Rijana train stations, a few kilometers from Kaduna.

The train reportedly derailed after the explosive device planted by the bandits went off, giving the terrorists the leeway to shoot sporadically at the train, leading to the death and injuries to some passengers, while several others were allegedly kidnapped.

However, in a statement issued by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, the government said the situation had been brought under control.

Parts of Aruwan’s statement said:

“The Kaduna State Government received multiple reports of an attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train service at around Kateri-Rijana general areas.

“Relevant action agencies were urgently contacted, and robust deployments of personnel were swiftly made to the area to secure the passengers on board.

“Security agencies have reported to the Kaduna State Government that the military has secured the Kaduna bound train from Abuja trapped by terrorists.

“Efforts are ongoing to convey the passengers from the location and others that sustained injuries have been rushed to hospitals for urgent medical attention.

“The Government of Kaduna State will be liaising with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to ascertain the list from the passengers’ manifest for efficient tracking.

“This is to acquire an accurate inventory of all passengers and their actual status.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i who has been in constant touch with the security forces, commended them for their prompt response, and thanked them for successfully securing the train and passengers on board.”

In October 2021, the NRC had announced the immediate suspension of rail service operations on the same Abuja-Kaduna route following the detonation of explosives on the train track by bandits.

The attacks which was sustained for two night, left some passengers killed and others injured after the attackers fired live rounds into driver and VIP compartments of the train.

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Two Liberian Maritime officials arrested for alleged rape in South Korea while on seminar

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Two top Liberian Maritime Authorities staff who were in South Korea for a seminar were on Saturday, arrested and detained by the Asian country’s police for allegedly raping two teenage girls.

The suspects identified as Moses Owen Browne and Daniel Tarr, were arrested at a hotel in the southeastern city of Busan after a friend of the victims reported the case to the police, the Busan police said in a statement.

Browne, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and Tarr, a Director of the Department of Marine Environmental Protection at the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), were in South Korea on a government mission to the IMO, which means they were representing the West African country at the programme.

According to a statement on the LiMA website condemning the incident, the officials were in South Korea attending the “International Maritime Organization (IMO) GHG SMART Practical Training and Study Visit” when this alleged incident occurred.

“LiMA unequivocally maintains a zero-tolerance stance on any types of sexual and gender-based offenses, and views these allegations of the conduct of its Officials as most egregious, having no place in any civilized society.

“Liberia Maritime Authority will fully cooperate with the Government of the Republic of South Korea in the investigation of this incident and vows to take appropriate actions, under national and international Law,” the statement read.

The South Korean police said it plans to seek formal arrest warrants for the two men which would allow them to hold the suspects in custody for up to 10 days before charging them to court.

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Interim Malian PM accuses France of stabbing country in the back following withdrawal of troops

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Interim Mali’s Prime Minister, Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga, has accused its former colonial masters, France, of “stabbing” the West African country in the back following the withdrawal of the European country’s military in August.

Maïga who addressed the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) holding in New York on Saturday, criticised France for taking a “hasty” decision by withdrawing its troops from the country which is still battling to contain the incursions of jihadist militants and terrorists.

“The world will remember that, after being abandoned in mid-air on 10 June 2021 by France’s unilateral decision to withdraw the Barkhane force from Mali, my country was then stabbed in the back by the French authorities,” Maïga said.

“In view of the seriousness of the acts committed by the French, Mali, in its letter dated 15 August 2022, requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

“The purpose of this meeting is to allow Mali to present the evidence in its possession, demonstrating that the French army has repeatedly attacked my country.

“I would like to say that the Malian people have decided to take their destiny into their own hands. They fully support the government in rebuilding Mali and in returning to a peaceful and secure constitutional order in March 2024, following free, transparent and credible elections,” the Interim PM added.

France had withdrawn its troops from Mali following several accusations by the Malian government against members of its forces including extrajudicial killings, after its first military intervention in 2013, leading an effort to oust Islamic extremists from taking control of northern Malian towns.

The withdrawal of the French troops ended its nine years presence in the country in a bid to stabilise the country amid repeated attacks by insurgents.

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