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Islamic State claims responsibility for devastating bomb attack in northern Nigeria, says 30 killed

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The Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), affiliated to the Islamic State terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for a devastating bomb explosion that occured on Tuesday at a market in the north central Nigerian State of Taraba.

Though the Nigerian government and military authorities said seven people were killed in the blast, the terrorists say more than 30 people lost their lives while dozens of others were injured in the explosion.

The explosion took place at a local market in a rural community known as Iware, with local police initially saying only three people were killed and 19 injured, before the military said the death toll had risen to seven.

However, the extremist group said it killed 30 people at a drinking joint in the market where alcohol was sold, marking an expansion of its operation beyond the north east into the north central of Nigeria.

In a statement posted on Thursday on a Telegram channel used by Islamic State to distribute its propaganda, the insurgents said it was responsible for the attack and described those who detonated the bomb in the market as “soldiers of the caliphate in central Nigeria.”

“Soldiers of the caliphate struck a gathering of infidel Christians and sent them to hell,” part of the statement said.

Residents and eyewitnesses said a local drinking spot selling beer and local brew was targeted in the attack, with one resident saying he counted nine dead bodies, while another said he had seen several dead including two women.

The northeast of Nigeria, especially Borno and Yobe States, have been the epicenter of the Islamist insurgencies for over a decade, beginning first with Boko Haram, before the infiltration of the IS-affiliated ISWAP.

And with the attack in Taraba which is located in Nigeria’s middle belt central region, the Islamic State insurgents are gradually expanding into other territories.

Metro

South African serial rapist gets four life imprisonment terms

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A South African serial rapist and killer, Philani Justice Nkosi, has been sentenced to four life imprisonment terms by a Mpumalanga High Court for rape and murder.

The court also sentenced the 35-year-old to 15 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of murdering one of his victims who recognised him.

Nkosi was sentenced on Friday after the court found him guilty of one count of murder, three counts of rape and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Monica Nyuswa, who expressed satisfaction with the sentence, said Nkosi committed the offences between 2014 and 2018 in Bhuga Trust and Halfway Trust in KaBokweni.

“In one incident which stands out, the accused attacked a 12-year-old victim while she was on the way to the local shop. He dragged her to the nearby bush, raped and strangled her to death,” Nyuswa said.

“He also raped another woman in March 2016, stabbed and robbed her of cash.

“The accused continued with his crime spree until December 2018 when he raped an adult woman who was on her way home from work.

“The matter was reported to the police, and the accused was subsequently arrested and linked to other crimes through DNA,” Nyuswa said.

Nkosi who pleaded not guilty to the crimes, claimed the two rape survivors were prostitutes and that the deceased was his girlfriend.

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Tanzanian court sentences 11 people to death for killing South African conservationist

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A Tanzanian High Court has sentenced 11 people to death after they were found guilty of killing a South African conservationist, Wayne Lotter, who was murdered in Dar es Salaam in 2017.

The convicts include nine Tanzanians and two citizens of neighbouring Burundi.

The victim was a renowned anti-poaching activist who was singled out by the convicts for disrupting their illegal poaching activities, according to prosecutors while testifying in court on Friday.

State prosecutors told Judge Leila Mgonya that the 51-year-old Lotter who was based in Tanzania, was a founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO which worked to stop the poaching of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the East African country.

He was shot dead in Dar es Salaam when the taxi he was travelling in was ambushed and though the exact motive for his killing is still unknown, his colleagues believe he was singled out for his work on protecting elephants, local media reports.

While handing down the death sentences, Judge Mgonya said there was compelling evidence that linked the 11 to the two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and murder on which they were charged

“Some of the suspects, in their statements recorded by police officers, confessed to have taken part in the conspiracy meetings and in killing. The evidence provided was strong enough to convict them,” the judge said.

Tanzania is one of the worst hit African countries in terms of elephant poaching, with a data released early this year noting that more than 66,000 elephants have been lost in the last 10 years due to the activities of illegal poachers.

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