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New Zealand comes together in defiant rejection of hate | World News

It must rank as one of the most striking and defiant responses to terrorism in history.

A week on from the worst ever attack on New Zealand soil the country came together to deliver a rejection of hate.

A Muslim call to prayer, broadcast live on television and radio across the country, relayed from outside of the Christchurch mosque where most of the 50 victims died.

A traditional two-minute silence was observed around the land too.

Jacinda Ardern was thanked for her response

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Jacinda Ardern was thanked for her response

Behind the two enclosures for male and female worshippers, hundreds of non-Muslims stood in Christchurch’s Hagley Park to show their support.

New Zealanders have spent the last week demonstrating their solidarity with Muslim community but this was a powerful moment.

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, for many a symbol of unity, spoke briefly: “New Zealand is with you,” she said. “We are one.”

They had come from around the world to be part of these Friday prayers. As the bowed in unison, a few were unable to, the injured from last week, bandaged and in wheelchair, the human cost of the attacks laid bare.

It was a moment this country declared it would move on, stronger because of the tragedy.

This was a powerful moment as New Zealanders expressed solidarity

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This was a powerful moment as New Zealanders expressed solidarity

Mustafa Abdelmonem, who was shot in the arm, told me: “It really gives us strength to say ‘You didn’t affect us, we are still here, we’re going to stay, this is our country, you guys should be getting out, not us’.”

All over Christchurch non Muslim women went about their day with headscarves in symbolic support of the community.

But no-one should forget the terrible loss here.

Salwa Mustafa lost her husband Khaled and son Hamza. Her other son Zaid was wounded

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Salwa Mustafa lost her husband Khaled and son Hamza. Her other son Zaid was wounded

Salwa Mustafa lost her husband Khaled and son Hamza. Her other son Zaid was wounded. The family, originally from Syria, had only moved to New Zealand eight months ago.

Mother and son, still confined to a wheelchair, appeared before the cameras, their pain wrenchingly evident.

Fourteen-year-old Zaid saw his brother shot. “I feel if I was dead and my brother and my father were still alive it would be better,” he said.

Through tears, Salwa said: “If they think they’re destroying us, they are wrong. It makes us stronger because we are not terrorists. People say that Islam is a terrorist religion or the Muslims are terrorists and now the whole world saw who is the terrorist.”

Their pain does not end. But the support of the country they now call home is undoubtedly helping them through.

Their message to the people of New Zealand? “Thank you.”

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Crime

Police reacts as Vikings, Black Axe cult groups clash in UNIUYO

The police command in Akwa Ibom, on Wednesday confirmed report of a cult clash between the Black Axe and Vikings Confraternities at the University of Uyo campuses.

The Public Relations Officer of the command, SP Odiko MacDon, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Uyo, said the police were aware of the incident and that normalcy had returned to the campuses.

“The Commissioner of Police is trying to meet with the management of the university to strategise on how to tackle the menace and ensure adequate security of the university,” he said.

A student of the university, who preferred anonymity, lamented incessant attacks from cult groups apparently from outside the varsity campuses.

He said that one student was killed in the afternoon on Tuesday at the main campus, while three students were killed at the permanent site of the university at about 9pm same day.

“Before the last matriculation that held on Wednesday April 17, there were shoot-outs. During the matriculation there were clashes between cult groups.

“Just yesterday a student was shot dead during a clash between two cult groups at the Annex campus.

“I heard that other three students were shot dead last night at the Main Campus at Nwaniba, making it four dead persons at the campuses,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Boniface Bassey, a students of Faculty of Arts called on the state government to intervene in the development.

He suggested that the school management should bring plain-cloth security personnel to secure the institution.

Bassey further called on management of UNIUYO to fish out perpetrators of the clashes for prosecution.

“Officers with mufti should come into the campuses and work with the school security to fish out the perpetrators,” he said.

Mrs Blossom Okorie, Director of Information, University of Uyo confirmed the incident but said she was not in the position to speak further on the incident.

“We have reported the matter to the police and I cannot comment on matter,” she said.

She said that the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eniefiok Essien, was the only person to speak on the issue.

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Crime

Banditry: Buratai issues order to Army commanders

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai has extolled officers and men of the Nigerian Army for the various successes recorded so far in safeguarding Nigeria’s territory.

NAN reports that the Army Chief made the commendation at the opening of the 2019 first quarter Chief of Army Staff Conference at Jaji in Kaduna State on Wednesday.

He however said in spite of the successes, the troops must think out of the box to keep the terrorists on the run.

Buratai said credible intelligence was necessary in meeting various security challenges in the country and directed commanders to work closely with locals, so as to decisively deal with terrorists, bandits and other criminal gangs.

“It is gratifying to note that the NA within the First Quarter 2019 has performed creditably well starting with the seizing of initiatives and turning the battle momentum against the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East.

“And rounding up with the professional manner with which the NA supported the civil authorities, as part of our constitutional role, to ensure the successful conduct of the 2019 General Elections.”

He added: “Despite reports of some alleged cases of infractions by some personnel, which are being investigated by a high level committee, I am elated with the encomiums and accolades showered on the NA for the high level of professionalism exhibited in the conduct of the elections. I say well done to each and every one of you.

“I must also acknowledge the resilience and doggedness of our troops in reversing the ugly trends that almost marred our concerted efforts in the North East,” Buratai said, noting that Boko Haram alliance with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) had been dealt with.

“That is why Operation YANCIN TAFKI was launched to effectively ensure the total destruction of the insurgents hibernating and operating from the ‘tumbuns’ with a view to crippling their ability and capability to wage any form of war.

“The operational successes recorded in this First Quarter 2019 in this fight have further underscored the NA’s resolve to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria.”

On banditry and kidnapping in the North West and North Central Zones, Buratai said new strategies are being adopted to address the ugly trends.

“This has necessitated the launching of operation HARBIN KUNAMA III.

“The concept of this operation will require the combat arms as well as all combat support and combat support services working in synergy with other security agencies, the traditional institutions and other stakeholders to get rid of criminal elements.

“We must ensure information flow that will be converted into actionable and timely intelligence for troops to take proactive measures and to support and drive targeted operations.

“It is important that commanders in the field relate with the society and other security agencies in their efforts to bring the high rate of kidnapping, acts of banditry and attacks on villages leading to killings in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Katsina States to an end.

“There must be sustained synergy, cooperation and collaboration with all stakeholders in these endeavours.”

The Army chief urged the media to be patriotic and stop glorifying terrorists and criminals in the country.

“I will seize this opportunity to caution the media and the general public not to glorify bandits, armed robbers, kidnappers and ethnic militias to the extent that they are seen as stronger than the military and other security agencies.

“The criminals and bandits are only as strong as the society paints or view them and further propagated by the media.

“It is important to state that information and intelligence flows from the people and indeed from the press and the public.

“Such criminal activities are intelligence based and the people, are in this regard, to provide timely information and clear identifications of the perpetrators.

“Undue publicity and praise singing of the bandits and other criminal elements would only motivate them to commit more criminal acts at the detriment of the society.

“Therefore, the press, the general public, security analysts and public commentators are advised to show more maturity and due diligence in this collective effort of ridding the country of criminals and criminalities.”

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Crime

Police In Lagos Nab Two Young Men Fighting Over N30,000 After Stealing Female Pants


The Police in Lagos have arrested two young men for allegedly stealing a female underwear.

According to the information gathered from the Police, the two men are Friday Emmanuel, 21, and Obiora Nwabueze, 29.

The suspects were said to be arrested under the Mile Two Bridge, Lagos, by operatives of the Satellite Division after they had engaged each other in fisticuffs, following the failure of one of the parties to keep to the terms of agreement regarding the stealing of the panties.

Nwabueze had earlier agreed to pay Emmanuel N30,000 on succesful execution of the ‘operation’ — a promise he did not want to redeem after Emmanuel had fulfiled his own part of the deal.

According to a statement by Bala Elkana (DSP), spokesman of the police, when Emmanuel brought the panties, instead of paying him the agreed amount, Nwabueze attempted to take them by force, which and that caused a fight.

“During interrogation, Emmanuel regretted listening to his friend Nwabueze, who was pestering him to get him female underwears he desperately needed to become rich,” Elkana said. “Both suspects were Wednesday charged to Magistrate Court 23, at Mbah Road, Ajegunle, Lagos for conspiracy and stealing.”

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