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Somali ISIS commander, Bilal al-Sudani, killed in US raid

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A senior Somali ISIS leader, Bilal al-Sudani, has been killed in a military raid by the U.S. Special Operations Forces in northern Somalia, U.S. defense department officials said on Friday.

According to a statement from a defence ministry official,  Al-Sudani was killed in a firefight along with 10 other fighters, while there were no U.S. casualties in the raid.

“On January 25, on orders from the president, the US military conducted an assault operation in northern Somalia that resulted in the death of a number of ISIS members, including Bilal al-Sudani,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in another statement.

“Al-Sudani was responsible for fostering the growing presence of ISIS in Africa and for funding the group’s operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

“From his mountain base in northern Somalia, he provided and coordinated funding for IS branches, not only in Africa but also Islamic-State Khorasan, the arm operating in Afghanistan.

“Ten years ago, before he joined the Islamic State, Sudani was involved in recruiting and training fighters for the extremist al-Shabaab movement in Somalia.

Al-Sudani had a key operational and financial role with specialized skills which made him an important target for US counterterrorism action,” Austin added.

The defence ministry official also said the operation had been prepared over a period of months, with US forces rehearsing at a site built to replicate the terrain where Sudani was hiding.

“President Biden authorized the strike earlier this week after consulting with top defense, intelligence and security officials.

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Shelve your planned protest, I’m addressing your grievances, Tinubu begs Nigerian youths

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President Bola Tinubu has called on aggrieved Nigerian youths and organizers of the planned nationwide #EndBadGovernance protests on August 1 to shelve the plan as he is working hard to address their concerns.

Tinubu, who made the plea on Tuesday through the Minister of Information National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said there was no need for the protests as he had heard the cries of Nigerians and was doing everything possible to address them.

Idris, who conveyed the President’s message while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting with Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the president was working assiduously to ensure the country’s economy was placed in a good position.

“We discussed the issue of the country in general and Mr President has asked me to again inform Nigerians that he listens to them, especially the young people that are trying to protest.

“Mr President said he listens to them and takes what they say seriously and he is working assiduously to ensure that this country is good not just for today, but also for the future.

“The issue of the planned protest, Mr President does not see any need for that, he asked them to shelve that plan and he has asked them to await the government’s response to all their pleas, he has listened to them,” Idris said.

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Zambia: PF lawmaker Chitotela sentenced to 10 years in prison

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A Member of Parliament in Zambia, Ronald Chitotela, has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of arson by the Kawambwa Magistrates’ Court.

Chitotela, an MP on the platform of the Patriotic Front (PF) who represents Pambeshe Constituency in the Parliament, was found guilty by Magistrate Martin Namushi of malicious damage, and received a five-year sentence on one of the counts.

He was also sentenced to an additional 11 months for threatening violence and 18 months for occasioning actual bodily harm.

Chitotela’s co-accused, Nixon Chilangwa, another MP who represents Kawambwa Constituency, was acquitted of arson charges but according to the Magistrate, was not spared from the law.

Chitotela, although acquitted of charges related to threatening violence and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, now awaits the High Court’s decision on the arson charges.

According to media reports, Chitotela, Chilangwa, and five others were dragged before the Kawambwa Magistrates’ Court on charges bordering on arson, threatening violence, malicious damage to property and assault, all allegedly committed during the August 2021 general elections.

The others involved in the trial were Kalumba Chifumbe, Davy Kaniki, Chabu Chitotela, Charity Musantu, and Kunda Chitotela.

Chifumbe was sentenced to five years for malicious damage to property, threatening violence, and threatening actual bodily harm, Kaniki and Kunda Chitotela were found guilty of arson, while Musantu was been acquitted of all charges.

Magistrate Namushi also denied the bail applications for Chilangwa and Chifumbe, citing unconvincing reasons for their release.

The defense team is expected to appeal for bail in the High Court.

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