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After jihadist extremists seize Malian village, military launches air strikes

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The Malian military has launched air strikes to dislodge jihadist extremists with ties to the dreaded Islamic State terrorist group which seized a village in Mali’s northern Gao region on Wednesday.

The extremist group had invaded and taken over the village of Talataye on Tuesday night, reigniting fears that the extremists would again expand their hold on territories following the departure of French troops after nearly a decade of battling insurgents.

Fahad Ag Almahmoud, the Secretary General of GATIA, an umbrella organization representing former armed groups that signed a peace agreement with the Malian government, who confirmed the attack, said in a statement on Thursday:

“The Islamic State fighters attacked our position in the village of Talataye and our fighting unit finally withdrew from the village.

“Last we heard, the Islamic State fighters took control of the village all night, but this morning there were air strikes by the Malian army on the site. At this moment, we still don’t know if they are still in the village or if they have withdrawn.”

Before the coming of the French troops, extremist groups had seized Malian towns and villages where they hoisted their flags and set up governments.

In September 2016, al-Qaeda-linked fighters took control of the central town of Boni before abandoning the town a day after the attack. Last month Islamic State-linked militants briefly took control of the town of Tessit in the Menaka region.

In 2012, a group of extremists seized power in major towns across Mali’s north, implementing strict Islamic law known as Shariah Law that included amputating the hands of suspected thieves and publicly whipping women for wearing clothing deemed too revealing.

The extremists fled into the surrounding desert when, France, Mali’s former colonial masters, launched a military intervention in 2013.

But with the withdrawal of the French troops on August 15, the extremists have slowly made incursions back into the country.

Metro

Inflation rate rise to all time high at 9.6% in Algeria in three years

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For the first time in three years, the inflation rate in Algeria has risen to an all time high of 9.6 per cent at the end of August, in what economists in the North African country say is as a result of rise in the prices of basic commodities globally and its impact on local markets.

The Deputy Director-General of the Algerian National Office of Statistics, Hamid Zaydouni, who disclosed this during a hearing at the Finance Committee of the People’s National Assembly on Thursday, said Algerian market recorded an inflation rate of 7.23 per cent during 2021, the highest in nearly three years.

“Algeria is witnessing an unprecedented rise in the prices of various products, some of which have increased by more than 100 per cent, amid warnings by consumer protection associations that the rise would weaken people’s purchasing power,” Zaydouni said.

“Over the past three years, the inflation rate in Algeria ranged between 3.5 and 7.5 per cent.

“The high prices have affected subsidised goods such as cooking oils, semolina and farina,” he added.

Zaydouni added that from 2021, the inflation rate of 7.2% was calculated but the average inflation rate has been 8.8% per year since then.

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2019, most African countries have been on the threshold of rising inflation as global economy had experienced enormous pressure.

The war between Russia and Ukraine which broke out in February has also contributed to the economic crisis in the continent with inflation growing at an alarming rate, often forcing countries to raise interest rates, hoping to slow down the inflation which has continued to rise to all time high.

According to statista.com, the “overall inflation rate in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 is expected to grow today whopping 12.2 percent, with the surge following a global tendency, as consumer prices soar all over the world, impacting advanced as well as emerging and developing economies.”

As at August, Sudan had the highest inflation in Africa as of 2022 with the rate reaching 245 percent.

Sudan is closely followed by Zimbabwe with the second-highest inflation on the African continent, averaging 90 percent.

Countries like Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, amongst others have had to raise their interest rates at some point due to inflation.

 

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Egyptian police officers jailed six years for torturing man to death

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Two Egyptian policemen who tortured a civilian to death in their custody have been sentenced to six years in prison by a court on Thursday.

The convicts were found guilty of murdering Mahmoud Khamis Gaber while he was in police custody, by a Minya Criminal Court which also heard that the torture included electric shocks and sexual abuse on the victim in 2019.

The victim’s lawyer told the court that Gaber was arrested after public prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for him following accusations that he possessed a firearm and ammunition without a licence.

The court was told that he was tortured to death in an effort to get him to confess to the possession of an unlicensed weapon.

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