Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Nigerian military refutes involvement in killing of over 20 Muslims in Northern state

The Nigerian military on Monday refuted claims that some of its officers were involved in the killing of over 20 Muslims on Sunday in Kaduna State located in north-central Nigeria.

Spokesperson of the Nigerian Defense Headquarters (DHQ) Col. Mohammed Yerima told reporters in Abuja, capital of the west African country, that no member of the armed forces was involved in the attack on worshippers at a mosque in Dogon Dawa village, near Birnin Gwari local government area of the state."The attention of DHQ had been drawn to the unsubstantiated claims by some foreign media alleging that the Nigerian military carried out the early morning attack. This is contrary to reports by other local and international media organizations, which reported that the attack was carried out by unknown gunmen," he said.

State commissioner of police Olufemi Adenaike had told reporters in Kaduna, the state capital, that suspected gang of armed bandits, numbering 10, stormed Dogon Dawa village and killed 24 persons during the Sunday morning attack. According to the military spokesperson, investigation had revealed that the killing was a reprisal attack by a gang of armed robbers, who lost some of their members after a recent raid of their hide out by security officials.He said the raid was carried out through the combined effort of the villagers and the local vigilance group in the community, while reassuring residents of the military's readiness to assist the Nigerian Police and other security agencies whose primary responsibility is the maintenance of law and order, in the discharge of their duties.The DHQ would remain committed to the defense and protection of the country's hard-earned democracy, he added. "The armed forces belong to the Nigerian people and could not be an instrument of lawlessness and destruction of the very people they had sworn to protect as alleged by the reports," Yerima said.

Meanwhile a 16-year-old Chinese national was killed and more than 100 others were detained by Ghanaian police for suspected illegal gold mining, the Chinese Embassy in Accra said on Sunday.

Ghana's police and immigration officials launched a joint action on Thursday and Friday to investigate illegal gold mining activities by foreigners in the Ashanti region and arrested more than 100 Chinese citizens, the embassy said.On one mining site near Manso, a township close to the region's capital Kumasi, policemen on Thursday destroyed mining facilities and work sheds. In the operation, the boy, known as Chen, was shot dead when he tried to escape, the embassy said.

Upon learning the news, Chinese Ambassador Gong Jianzhong urgently met Ghanaian Deputy Foreign Minister Chris Kpodo and National Security Coordinator Larry Gbevlo Lartey and expressed serious concerns over the death of Chen and the detention of Chinese workers. The ambassador demanded thorough investigation into the shooting and compensation for the family of the victim. The Ghanaian government has expressed deep sorrow over the death of the Chinese boy and promised to investigate the case.

Meanwhile the Chinese Embassy called on all Chinese in Ghana to abide by related laws and regulations to safeguard their legal interests.According to Ghanaian laws, foreign companies are only allowed to work independently on large and open-pit mines.A majority of Chinese workers in Ghana work in road and harbor constructions, gas pipeline projects and other China-aided projects.(Xinhua)

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