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Bandits Kill Four Police Officers in Kaduna, Nigeria

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Suspected bandits ambushed and killed no fewer than four Nigerian police officer, a statement by the force spokesperson, Frank Mba, has said.

The statement said the incident happened in the Birnin-Gwari area of Kaduna state.

One policeman remains missing.

According to Mba, the officers were on their way back to their base in Kano after completing a special duty when they were attacked on Friday along the Birnin-Gwari Funtua Highway.

The officers are personnel attached to Operation Puff Adder and deployed to Niger State in the sustained operation to reclaim public space.

He said the team was deployed to tackle incidences of banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the area.

“Contrary to unconfirmed reports in some sections of the media that 18 officers were kidnapped, only 16 were attacked in the ambush,” Mba said in a statement on Sunday.

“The officers successfully repelled the attack accordingly and neutralised the bandits in their tens while many others scampered into the bush with gun shot injuries.

“Regrettably, four of the Officers paid the supreme price during the exchange of gun fire between the police and the bandits while an officer is still missing.”

Mba said the remaining 11 officers led by their Unit Commander successfully recovered the bodies and firearms of their fallen colleagues, adding that concerted efforts were being intensified to rescue the officer still missing.

He added that “tens” of gunmen were also killed in the clashes on Friday.

Meanwhile, in other separate attacks on Sunday also in Kaduna state, the authorities confirmed at least five people including an 80-year-old woman and a local traditional ruler were killed and several others wounded.

The state commissioner for Internal Security, Samuel Aruwan, says the gunmen targeted three rural areas of Giwa, Igabi and Chikun.

It’s not clear who carried out the series of weekend attacks in Kaduna state.

But it is one of several states in north-western Nigeria where criminal gangs frequently carry out deadly assaults or kidnap people for ransom.

In a previous attack within the week at least 18 people including mothers and their babies were kidnapped in a village in Birnin-Gwari area of the state. They’re yet to be released.

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Nigeria Buries Air Force Personnel Killed In Plane Crash

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Thursday, February 25th, was an emotional day for Nigeria as it buried its Air Force personnel who died in an air mishap last week.

The crash occured after the airmen left Abuja on an intelligence mission, enroute Minna as part of plans to rescue the abducted Kagara boys at the time. All seven men on board were killed.

Those who died in the crash were named as: Haruna Gadzama (Pilot); Henry Piyo (Co-pilot); Michael Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System Specialist) and Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist).

Others were Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist), Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist) and Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

The deceased were buried on Thursday at the National Military Cemetery, Lugbe in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and Nigeria’s service chiefs were all present at the burial ceremony as they paid their last respects.

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All Eyes on Ghana as African Gold Rises Like the Phoenix

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Ghana has become the toast of exploration firms in the continent and is now Africa’s largest gold producer. It churned out 80.5 tonnes in 2008. To prove her worthiness of the title, Ghana has 23 large-scale mining companies producing gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese.

There are over 300 registered small scale mining groups and 90 mine support service companies. So, apart from earning revenue for Ghana directly, it also ensures many people earn a stable living along the value chain.

Gold production in becoming an important export earner in West Africa.

This is true for countries like Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali as these nations are expected to increase their export quota by 2.7% in 2021 to 8 Moz (million ounces) and grow to 8.4 Moz (million ounces) by 2024 – a 1.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

After strong growth in 2019, West Africa’s gold production was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, owing to the temporary suspension of mines such as Fekola in Mali.

The pandemic had a significant impact on African operations, mainly during the early part of the second quarter of 2020, when, at one point, the region’s gold mines were on hold with no production due to COVID-19 lockdowns according to Global Data, a leading data and analytics company.

And Ghana is expected to lead the growth, where the production is expected to reach 3.9moz (million ounces) in 2024 from a forecasted 3.6 Moz in 2021. West Africa’s second largest economy is looking more money in her coffers in 2021.

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Africa’s Largest University Hospital Opens in Tangier

Africa’s largest university hospital, Tangier University Hospital with a capacity of 865 beds has opened in Morocco’s coastal city, Tangier.

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Africa’s largest university hospital, Tanger University Hospital – a 71,000 sqm healthcare facility with 865 beds capacity is now open in Morocco’s coastal city, Tangier.

The hospital, built by Morocco’s Health Ministry – Ministere de la Sante’ (MDS) at a cost of $130 million will help ease pressure on the northern regions’ hospitals.

Tangier is Morocco’s second-largest industrial hub, strategic port, and trade centre with a burgeoning population due to large-scale investments in industry, services, and transport.

The edifice shows two prominent semi-circular volumes linked by glazed pedestrian links and surrounded by planted green courts. Its facade features angled sun-shading fins and peculiar aesthetics that make the building respond to its climatic context.

The port is the largest on the Mediterranean and in Africa by capacity. connecting over 170 ports in 77 countries.

This is outstanding especially for Tangier, which has been one of the worst-hit Moroccan cities by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The 865-bed university hospital covers 4 floors, and comprises 15 surgical rooms and a unit for victims of fire accidents.

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