Friday, 18 January 2013
Malian Terrorists Detected in Nigeria
As the nation prepares to send troops into battle in Mali, “terrorists” have been spotted entering Nigeria to create havoc, a high-level Army officer was reported to tell newsmen at a recent press conference in Jaji, Kaduna State.
Army Chief of Staff (COAS) Azubuike Ihejirika, who did not offer evidence, claimed that terrorists trained in Mali had already arrived on Nigerian shores. But the military “was not resting on its oars” and are winning the war against terror,” he said.
Sahara Reporters says a source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that: “COAS indeed told journalists that they received an intelligence report on Wednesday that terrorists trained in Mali entered Nigeria, with the aim of causing more terrorists attack in the country, and so Nigerians should see the rationale of sending troops to Mali as a strategy toward boosting our internal security.” He proceeded to Kaduna and then headed back to Abuja.”
Close to 200 Nigerian troops are due to arrive in Mali to join the French forces, expected to reach over 2,000. Nigeria will lead the West African force. It has pledged a total of 900 troops as well as fighter jets.
Chad has also confirmed 2,000 soldiers. Benin, Ghana, Niger, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Togo have also pledged to take part.
In total, 3,300 regional troops will be deployed in the conflict under a U.N. Security Council resolution.
From a campaign waged from the air, French soldiers are now tied down on the ground, with street battles taking place in the town of Diabaly, 350km (220 miles) north of the capital Bamako.
Diabaly's mayor, Oumar Diakite, told the BBC from Bamako only Malian troops were involved in the battle. Both sides suffered casualties, he said.
"The Islamists were burying their dead next to our cemetery in Diabaly. There were also three bodies of Malian soldiers lying on the side of the road," Mr Diakite added.
Source: Sahara Reporters