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Suspected terrorists abduct German priest in Bamako, Mali

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In Bamako, Mali, suspected Islamic extremists on Monday abducted a German priest, identified as Rev. Hans-Joachim Lohre .

According to Dia Monique Pare, a colleague at the Institute of Islamic-Christian Training, The priest was abducted while preparing to go celebrate Mass in another part of the city Sunday.

“The door of his car was open and there were footprints on the ground as though someone had been fighting,” Pare added.

Lohre’s kidnapping would mark the first time that Islamic militants have abducted a foreigner in the capital of Bamako since their insurgency began more than a decade ago. Other foreign religious figures have been held hostage but were abducted in remoter parts of the country.

Mali, like its West African neighbours Guinea, Burkina Faso and Nigeria has been a turf for terrorists activities which has played out as kidnapping of soft targets for ransome these regions.

Recall that in 2017, a Colombian nun was kidnapped by al-Qaida-linked militants in Karangasso, about 27 kilometers (17 miles) from where the Italian family was abducted. Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez was released in 2021 after spending more than four years in captivity.

 

Metro

Somali forces storm hotel held hostage by al-Shabaab militants, free 60

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Somali federal forces have stormed the Villa Rose Hotel in capital Mogadishu, where al-Shabaab militants had held hostage since Sunday, killing eight civilians and trapping dozens in the building, the police said in a statement on Tuesday.

The police spokesperson, Sadik Dodishe, said 60 hostages were rescued while all six extremists who held the people hostage were killed during the operation, with one member of the security forces killed in an exchange of fire.

“About 60 people who had been trapped in the hotel were freed and none of them were injured,” Dodishe said in the statement.

“Five of the attackers were killed by security forces, and one blew himself up,” the police spokesman added.

The al-Qaeda sponsored Islamist extremist group had on Sunday, claimed responsibility for the attack in a broadcast on its own radio frequency.

The broadcast said that its :fighters attacked the hotel which has a restaurant popular with government and security officials.”

The Villa Rose Hotel is not far from the presidential palace, Villa Somalia, in one of the most protected parts of central Mogadishu, and has a tradition of hosting top government officials.

The attack had forced the Somali parliament to postpone its session which was scheduled for Monday as there were fears the attacks were targeted at the parliamentarians.

Last month, not less than 500 people were killed in two car bombings that targeted the Somali ministry of education complex in Mogadishu, which also houses many government offices.

The al-Shabaab terrorists had also claimed responsibility for the attack as it continues its battle against the federal government in its quest to overthrow the government and enforce a strict version of the Sharia law.

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Nigerian stowaways rescued in Spain’s Canary Islands after 11 days on ship’s rudder

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Three Nigerian stowaways who spent 11 days on a ship’s rudder were rescued by the Spanish coastguard and hospitalised on arrival at the Canary Islands, Spanish authorities said on Tuesday.

The ship, according to ship-tracking website Marine Traffic, had departed from Lagos, Nigeria, on November 17, and arrived the Island on Monday when the men were rescued.

The stowaways who were discovered on the Alithini II oil tanker at the Las Palmas port, “appeared to have symptoms of dehydration and hypothermia after spending about eleven days clinging to the rubber of the oil tanker, and were transferred to hospitals on the island for medical attention,” Spain’s Salvamento Marítimo said.

“Throughout the journey, the three migrants and refugees had been hanging onto the narrow metallic rudder, with their feet dangling just a few feet above the Atlantic Ocean,” the report said.

Spain’s coastguard also showed a picture of the three men perched on the rudder of the oil tanker, saying they were rescued after the tanker had docked.

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