- Gunmen Kill 40 People in Mosques in New Zealand
Forty people have been killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incidents as a terrorist attack, and one of the country’s “darkest days”.
Three men and one woman are in custody, police commissioner Mike Bush said, but warned more suspects may be at large.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of those arrested was an Australian citizen.
He described the suspected attacker as an “extremist right-wing violent terrorist”.
Witnesses told local media they ran for their lives and saw people bleeding on the ground outside the Al Noor mosque.
A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood has been evacuated, and Police Commissioner Mike Bush said “multiple fatalities” were recorded at two locations. As yet, far fewer details have emerged from the second site.
They said they had responded to “a number of IEDs (explosive devices) attached to vehicles, that we also stopped”.
Authorities have advised all mosques in the city to shut down until further notice, saying this was an unprecedented act of violence.
Armed police have also been seen at Papanui High School in Christchurch, which has been cordoned off.
It is not yet known how many shooters there were, but one gunman is an Australian who is believed to have written a manifesto outlining his intentions. In it, he espouses far right and anti-immigrant ideology.
Footage taken by one shooter has emerged, which he appears to have live-streamed as he shot victims in a mosque. Police called on the public not to share the “extremely distressing” material online.
Facebook said it had removed the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as any support voiced for that crime.
The sequence of events remains unclear and has mostly come via eyewitness reports to local media.
The first report of an attack came from the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch along Deans Avenue, facing Hagley Park. Witnesses there reported seeing people bleeding on the ground outside the building.
One unnamed survivor told TV New Zealand he saw a gunman shoot a man directly in the chest.
The attacker reportedly targeted the men’s prayer room in the mosque, then moved to the women’s room.
“What I did was basically just waiting and praying, God please, let this guy run out of bullets,” the witness said.
“He came to this side, he shot this side, he went to another room and went to the ladies’ section and shot them. I just heard one of the ladies has died.”
A Palestinian man, who did not wish to be named, told AFP news agency he saw a man shot in the head, and heard rapid gunfire.
“I heard three quick shots, then after about 10 seconds it started again – it must have been an automatic, no one could pull a trigger that quick.
“Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood.”
A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood has also been evacuated, and the police commissioner said “multiple fatalities” were recorded at two locations. There are far fewer details emerging from there, however.
Multiple casualties have been brought to Christchurch Hospital, where there is a heavy police presence.
Police earlier cleared Cathedral Square, where thousands of children had been holding a rally for action on climate change.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said: “Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high.
“Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice.”
A lockdown on all schools in Christchurch has now been lifted, and parents are being told they can collect their children.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted: “I’m horrified by the reports I’m following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins.” (BBC)
President Buhari Has Officially Suspends Magu, Says Attorney General’s Office
Buhari Officially Suspends Magu, Says Attorney General’s Office
Nigeria has suspended its anti-corruption chief pending the conclusion of investigations, the attorney general’s office said on Friday, without elaborating.
Ibrahim Magu has been appearing before a presidential panel reviewing activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the agency said on Monday.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate suspension of Ibrahim Magu as Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.
The president put EFCC operations director Mohammed Umar in charge pending the outcome of Magu’s case.
Buhari has made tackling corruption a priority since taking office in 2015. Endemic graft among the political elite dating back decades has left most Nigerians mired in poverty, despite the country being Africa’s biggest economy and energy producer.
FG Puts School Resumption Plan on Hold as COVID-19 Cases Hit 30,000
FG Drops School Resumption Plan as COVID-19 Cases Cross 30,000
The Federal Government has dropped plans for certain students to return to school following the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 30,249 on Wednesday.
“Till date, 30249 cases have been confirmed, 12373 cases have been discharged and 684 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory,” the NCDC stated.
The report forced the Federal Government to drop plans for certain students to return to school.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, told reporters in Abuja on Wednesday.
“We will not open soon for examinations, or for any reason, unless it is safe for our children,” Adamu after a cabinet meeting.
“Our schools will only open when we believe it’s safe for our children and that is when the situation is right, not when the incidence of the infection is going up in the nation.”
Complete Confirmed COVID-19 Cases by State
|States Affected||No. of Cases (Lab Confirmed)||No. of Cases (on admission)||No. Discharged||No. of Deaths|
FG Approves N109bn Contracts for Four Roads, Hostel
FG to Spend N109bn On Four Roads, Hostel
The Federal Government on Wednesday approved different contracts on roads and others totalling N109.187bn.
The approvals for the contracts were parts of the decision reached at a virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The contracts were approved based on the requests of the Ministry of Works and Housing as well as the Ministry of Education.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that his ministry submitted two memoranda for projects estimated to cost a total of N108.44bn.
He disclosed that the council approved an augmentation of existing contract by N25bn for the completion of the Enugu – Lokponta section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway.
He said, “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented two memoranda. The first one was to aid the completion of the Enugu – Lokponta section of the Enugu – Port Harcourt highway. It was an augmentation of existing contract by N25bn; the council approved that augmentation.
“The second memorandum was the award of three different roads. The first is Dikwa-Marte-Mungunu road for N60. 273bn and the Numan Road linking Borno and Adamawa for N15.527bn and the third is for Gombi-Biu linking Adamawa and Borno also for N7.643 bn.”
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said the FEC approved an agreement between the Kaduna Polytechnic and an investor to renovate 18 blocks of student hostels.
The contract, which is a 15-year concession at the cost of N744.26m is under a Renovate Operate, Maintain and Transfer arrangement.
He said, “It will take one year to construct the hostels, after which the contractor will run it for 15 years within which they will recover what they have sunk into the project.
“There are 18 blocks of hostels and each room in a block will house four students. The total number of students to be housed will be 4,032.”
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