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Iran Announces First Arrests In Downing Of Ukrainian Airliner

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Iran’s judiciary has announced the arrests of an unspecified number of suspects in the accidental downing of a commercial passenger jet during a major confrontation with the United States last week.

In comments carried by state media, spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday that “extensive investigations have taken place and some individuals are arrested”. He did not offer additional details.

Wednesday’s downing of the Ukrainian airliner, en route to Kyiv from Tehran, killed all 176 passengers and crew on board. It happened just hours after Iran launched missile attacks on US targets in Iraq in retaliation for the US assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3.

After days of denials, Iran on Saturday admitted that its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had shot down the plane in a “disastrous mistake”, saying air defences were fired in error while on alert after the attacks against two Iraqi bases hosting US troops. US President Donald Trump had previously threatened to strike 52 targets within Iran if Tehran targeted US citizens or assets following Soleimani’s killing.

Iran’s acknowledgement of the shootdown and the lack of transparency around it triggered protests in Tehran and elsewhere, with hundreds of people taking to the streets to direct their ire towards senior officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, amid allegations of being misled.

Videos posted on social media that could not be verified immediately appeared to show security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesters. The government has denied a cover-up and police rejected reports that it had opened fire at demonstrators.

Rouhani calls for special court
In a televised address on Tuesday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani promised a thorough investigation into the “unforgivable error” of shooting down the plane, the latest in a series of apologies from a leadership grappling with public anger.

Rouhani called for a special court to be set up with a ranking judge and dozens of experts to investigate the “tragic event”.

“This is not an ordinary case. The entire world will be watching this court,” Rouhani said, adding that everyone responsible in the accident must be punished.

“For our people, it is very important in this incident that whoever was at fault or negligent at any level” faces justice, Rouhani said. “Anyone who should be punished must be punished.”

The president called the government’s admission that Iranian forces shot down the plane the “first good step”.

“We should assure people that it will not happen again,” Rouhani said, adding that his government was “accountable to Iranian and other nations who lost lives in the plane crash”.

Al Jazeera’s Assed Baig, reporting from Tehran, said Rouhani’s comments were “a watershed moment in this country because people aren’t used to the military and state institutions taking state responsibility and accepting that they are wrong”.

Baig added that Rouhani mentioned that the downing of the plane was not the fault of just one person operating the air defence system – rather, there were many issues involved.

“He also said that ultimately it’s the US that’s responsible for the heightened level of tension, again referring to Trump’s threat to target 52 sites but added that this isn’t an excuse for the military and other people,” Baig said.

Most of those on board the flight were Iranians or dual nationals. Canada, Ukraine, Britain and other nations who had citizens on the plane have scheduled a meeting on Thursday in London to consider legal action against Tehran.

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Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno

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A Nigerian Army colonel has died after an ambush by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.

 

Colonel DC Bako and some soldiers were attacked, on Sunday, September 20, when their vehicle was ambushed near Damboa, about 85 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. He was until his death the commander of 25 Task Force Brigade in Damboa

 

Spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Sagir Musa, who confirmed the death in a statement on Monday September 21, said the colonel died in a military hospital where he was receiving treatment after the ambush.

 

“Operation LAFIYA DOLE wishes to intimate the general public of the demise of one of our gallant and finest war heroes Col DC Bako,”

”It could be recalled that the professional, gallant senior officer who always led from the front and a patriotic Nigerian, led a patrol to clear Boko Haram Terrorits from Sabon Gari-Wajiroko axis near Damboa when his patrol team entered an ambush at about 10 a.m Sunday 20 September 2020. Under his able leadership, the troops cleared the ambush resulting to the killing of scores of terrorists and recovery of weapons and equipment.

”Sadly however, he was wounded in action and immediately evacuated by the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE to the 7 Division Hospital at Maimalari Cantonment. The late senior officer was recuperating well after successful operation at the hospital, in good spirit and also said his prayers in the early hours of this morning before his sad passing at the hospital. May Almighty Allah grant his soul eternal rest. Ameen.

”The Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen TY Buratai on behalf of himself, gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and indeed well meaning Nigerians hereby express his heartfelt condolences to his esteemed family. We are most grateful for his contributions and sacrifices to the motherland.

”May God grant eternal rest to the gentle soul of Col DC Bako and the souls of all Nigerian Army officers and soldiers who paid the supreme prize in the defence of our father land.” the statement reads.

 

Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno Nigerian Army colonel dies after Boko Haram ambush in Borno

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Overcrowded Burial: Thousands Bid Emir Of Zazzau Farewell ( Video)

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After 45 years on the throne, light dimmed yesterday for Emir Zazzau Alhaji Shehu Idris, who passed on at 84.

Thousands of people converged on the palace at Zaria to pay their last respects as the remains of perhaps, the longest serving emir, were interred beside the tomb of some of the past emirs.

Prayers for the repose of the soul of the 18th Emir of Zazzau, were attended by Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who led the presidential delegation. Other members are: Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai led the Kaduna State delegation which included Secretary to State Government, Balarabe Lawal-Abbas, Speaker Yusuf Zailani and heads of military and paramilitary formations and institutions in the State.

The demise of the Emir threw the entire people of the emirate into tears and mourning, as the remains of the late paramount ruler arrived the Palace from Kaduna at about 2.45pm.
The palace that was filled to capacity by friends, relatives and well-wishers who patiently waited till evening.

Also at the palace was the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, and heads of military and paramilitary formations in the state.

The Waziri of Zazzau, Malam Ibrahim Muhammad, had earlier confirmed the demise of the 18th Emir of Zazzau, who until his death, was the Chairman, Kaduna State Council of Chiefs in Zaria..

The Emir died at the 44 Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna in the early hours of yesterday.
Aminu Shehu Idris, son of the Emir, said his father passed on after a protracted illness.
According to Aminu, his late father had been battling with an undisclosed ailment for a decade “until this morning when death snatched him away.”

The late monarch left behind four wives, many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The governor said: “We have lost a rare gem, a source of wisdom and guidance and a true father of all. May Allah Grant his soul abode in Aljanna Firdaus. Amin.”

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Osinbajo Welcomes First Granchild As His Daughter, Oludamilola Gives Birth

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo, are now grandparents as their daughter, Oluwadamilola and her husband, Oluseun Bakare, have welcomed their first child, a baby boy.

Oluwadamilola and Oluseun welcomed their baby boy today September 21.

Yemi Osinbajo announced the news on Twitter. He wrote:

”All glory to GOD! I am now a grand dad! My daughter, Oludamilola and her husband Oluseun became parents to a wonderful baby boy this morning!”

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