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Bomb Blast Kills Six Civilians In Mali1 minute read



No fewer than six civilians died after an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in Mali.

Reports from the West African country said the incident happened on Friday near Boura, Mali’s southern region of Sikasso.

The explosion was said to have occurred when an ambulance carrying a patient from Boura hit the IED on Friday. The six people on board died instantly, except the driver who “was severely injured and evacuated to Koutiala (south)’’.

Among the victims, there was a pregnant woman and a two-year-old kid.

This is the first attack on civilians since the mutiny that led to the resignation of Mali’s president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Also on Friday afternoon, about 10 kilometres away from Boura, local authorities found the bodies of the two local staff of Environment Ministry who were kidnapped by unknown armed men on Thursday night.

The Malian army has been targeted four times, killing at least 21 soldiers with numerous injuries.

No individual or group has claimed responsibility for these attacks amid political instability in Mali.

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Trump Slammed Over Tweet Celebrating Rescue Of American Held Hostage In Nigeria



President Donald Trump has come under criticism on Twitter following his tweet on the reported rescue of an American citizen by U.S. special forces in Nigeria on Saturday morning.

Shortly after news of the rescue broke, Trump took to his Twitter handle to celebrate, saluting “the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation”.

“Last night, our Country’s brave warriors rescued an American hostage in Nigeria.

“Our Nation salutes the courageous soldiers behind the daring nighttime rescue operation and celebrates the safe return of yet another American citizen!”, the post reads.

Within minutes, the tweet attracted thousands of reactions with the president’s critics slamming him for allegedly failing to save over 230,000 American lives so far claimed by COVID-19.

“Brave indeed. They volunteered to fight for their country,” replied a follower by the name, Vote Trump Out.

“Shame you couldn’t have saved 200,000 plus lives while you were tweeting,” the follower with the handle @MattTavner, added.

Another critic, Limey McLimeface using the handle @mclimeface, suggested that Trump didn’t know about the operation until the media reported it.

“Took you until now to mention it, you probably only just heard of it, because you’re too busy on your farewell tour, you haven’t done any work in weeks,” McLimeface said.

An American psychologist, Jeffrey Guterman, using the verified account, @JefferyGuterman, called the president “a mass murderer” for spreading the virus with his non-socially-distant campaign rallies.

Guterman shared a Stanford University study, which concluded that 18 rallies addressed by Trump resulted in no fewer than 30,000 “incremental confirmed cases of COVID-19”.

According to the study, conducted by Douglas Bernheim, Nina Buchmann and Zach Freitas-Groff of the Department of Economics, the rallies “likely led to more than 700 deaths”.

“Congratulations, you made America Great Again!,” said Alex Haditaghi,a Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist.

“U.S. reports world record of more than 100,000 COVID-19 cases in a single day. Coronavirus deaths in U.S. yesterday: 1,031

“Deaths over last seven days: 6,579. Deaths so far: 230,000. COVID-19 Infections in U.S. 9,300,000,” Haditaghi said.

To one Lewis Silberman, the operation was timed to aid the president’s reflection bid.

The president has always defended his administration’s response to the pandemic, arguing that nothing could be done better.

David Wohl, an American actor and supporter of the president, defended him in his reaction to the tweet, suggesting that the rescue operation was making Democrats angry.

“They hate to see Trump succeed and would rather have Americans remain hostages. Real Americans, however, are grateful to Trump and #SealTeam6”, he said.

One Lisa Whitehead replied him, saying it would be “really fantastic if he would quit killing Americans here in the USA!!”.

“Maybe the SEAL team can help him with that, maybe they could stand outside his rallies and make people mask up!!!”, Whitehead added.

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Zamfara Governor Gets Honorary Doctorate Degree From Togolese University



The University of Science, Administration and Commerce, Lomé, Republic of Togo, on Saturday conferred an Honorary Doctorate Degree in ‘Leadership and Administration’ on Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.

The Director-General of Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications to the Governor, Malam Yusuf Idris, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Gusau on Saturday.

Idris said the award was received by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the governor, Dr Bashir Maru, who led a high-powered delegation of four persons to Lome for the event.

He stated that the conferment of the Doctor Honoris Causa on Matawalle was in recognition of the “governor’s passion, commitment and great enthusiasm in providing strategic leadership and selfless service to the people of the state and the Nigerian nation in general.”

He said while thanking the institution’s Governing Council and its management for finding him worthy of the award, Gov. Matawalle offered to explore more areas of cooperation with the university.

According to the statement, the governor also said that his administration had in the 17 months of its inception, vigorously pursued the enthronement of peace in the state which was hitherto characterised by banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other criminal activities.

“Matawalle observed that the recognition and conferment of the Honorary Doctorate Decree on his person may have drawn impetus from his efforts in the return of peace and other legal business and social activities in the state which have now made it attractive to investors within and outside the state.

“He informed the gathering that Zamfara accounts for a very large percentage of Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and will be willing to do genuine business with investors,” it said.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Dr Innocent Kagara, said the institution decided the honour only two persons in 2020 with Honorary Doctorate Degree as they had distinguished themselves in leadership qualities the world over.

Kagara said that the university had been watching with keen interest the level of progress being made in Zamfara since the inception of Gov. Matawalle’s administration.

He said that the institution appreciated the giant strides the governor was making to diversify the entire African economy from over-dependence on oil to mining which will boost the region’s economic status.

Presenting the certificate to the governor on behalf of the university, Dr Hamman Mensa, the institution’s Registrar, said the award given was based on excellence and hardwork in leadership.

The other members of the delegation that received the award on behalf of their principal were the State Commissioner of Special Duties, Alhaji Muhammad Maiturare, the Principal Private Secretary to the governor, Alhaji Lawal Maradun and the Director-General of Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications to the Governor, Malam Yusuf Idris.

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US Forces Rescue American Kidnapped In Niger



The United States’ SEAL Team 6 has rescued Philip Walton, 27, who was kidnapped earlier this week in Niger and held hostage in northern Nigeria.

Walton, who kept camels, sheep and poultry and grew mangoes near the border with Nigeria, was kidnapped on Tuesday by six men armed with AK-47 assault rifles who arrived on motorcycles at his home in southern Niger’s Massalata village early on Tuesday.

His wife, young daughter and brother were left behind.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman in a statement on Saturday said, “U.S. forces conducted a hostage rescue operation during the early hours of 31 October in Northern Nigeria to recover an American citizen held hostage by a group of armed men.

“This American citizen is safe and is now in the care of the U.S. Department of State. No U.S military personnel were injured during the operation.

“We appreciate the support of our international partners in conducting this operation. The United States will continue to protect our people and our interests anywhere in the world.”

The mission, which was several hours long, was conducted by the Navy’s elite SEAL Team 6 who were flown to the region by Air Force special operations, a US official with knowledge of the operation told CNN.

The US forces who conducted the mission killed six of the seven captors, the official said.

The US believes the captors have no known affiliation with any terror groups operating in the region and were more likely bandits seeking money.

Niger, like much of West Africa’s Sahel region, faces a deepening security crisis as groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State carry out attacks on the army and civilians, despite help from French and U.S. forces.

Four U.S. soldiers were killed in an ambush in Niger in 2017, sparking debate about the United States’ role in the sparsely populated West African desert that is home to some of the world’s poorest countries.

At least six foreign hostages are being held by Islamist insurgents in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. Islamists have collected millions of dollars in ransom payments in recent years. The U.S. government has frequently criticized other countries for paying.

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