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Borno Attack: Police Confirm Death Of Eight Officers, Others

Police patrol

The police authorities in Borno State have confirmed the death of eight officers following an attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in Baga area of the state.

In a statement issued on Saturday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Edet Okon, the Command said three other members of the Civilian Joint Task Force paid the supreme price.

The police spokesman explained that 13 other persons sustained various degrees of injuries, adding that they were rushed to the hospital for medical attention.

“Unfortunately, eight policemen and three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force paid the supreme price,” he said.

“Thirteen other persons sustained various degrees of injuries and were rushed to the hospital for treatment.”

Okon also reiterated the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force in protecting the lives and properties of the residents of the state.

READ ALSO: At Least Five Security Officials Killed As Boko Haram Attacks Borno Govt’s Convoy

According to him, the Commissioner of Police, Bello Makwashi assured members of the public that the Force “will not relent in providing the needed security for the good citizens of Borno State at all times.”

Baga town came under serious attack on Friday when the convoy of the Borno State Government was travelling, where Governor Babagana Zulum is expected to receive returning IDPs.

The officials were ambushed by the insurgents, with uncertainty trailing the real casualty figure.

An Armoured Personnel Carrier belonging to the police as well as state government vehicles were reportedly hijacked in the attack.

Governor Zulum had flown in an Airforce chopper to Baga earlier, where he performed the Friday prayers with troops.

Meanwhile, the military has kept mum over the attack since it was reported.

When contacted, the Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said he was not competent to speak on operations, directing Channels Television’s correspondent to the Defence Headquarters.

The Chief of Army Staff arrived in Maiduguri earlier today conducted the burial of the three other soldiers who were killed in an attack involving a Commanding Officer, Colonel Dahiru Bako.

Ortom Condemns Boko Haram Attack On Zulum’s Convoy

A file photo of Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has condemned the attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, in which about 15 persons were feared dead and others injured.

The governor, according to a statement issued on Saturday by his spokesman, Terver Akase, sympathised with his Borno State counterpart.

Ortom described the attack as unfortunate and shocking, adding that security operatives will work hard to restore peace.

SEE FULL STATEMENT

GOV ORTOM CONDEMNS ATTACK ON BORNO GOV

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom condemns the attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, in which about 15 persons were feared dead and others injured.

READ ALSO: At Least Five Security Officials Killed As Boko Haram Attacks Borno Govt’s Convoy

Governor Ortom sympathizes with his Borno State counterpart and describes the attack as shocking and unfortunate.

He expresses optimism that Governor Zulum will not be deterred by the reprehensible ambush as he continues to work with security agencies to restore peace to all parts of his state.

Governor Ortom condoles with families of those who lost their lives in the attack and prays God to grant their souls eternal rest.

Terver Akase

Chief Press Secretary

Dennis Skinner: Song about ex-MP tops Amazon download charts

image copyrightPA Media

It also reached number two on the iTunes alternative charts, although did not feature in the Official Singles Chart Top 100.

‘Unparliamentary language’

Robb Johnson

Mr Skinner underwent hip surgery ahead of the overnight count in his Derbyshire constituency, in December.

Dennis Skinner with Michael Foot and Tony Benn in Blackpool, in 1980

image copyrightPA Media

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Bollywood star Deepika Padukone questioned in India drugs probe

Actress Deepika Padukone at the 71st Cannes Film Festival in France [File: Regis Duvignau/Reuters]

Top Bollywood star Deepika Padukone has been questioned by India’s narcotics agency in an escalating drugs probe following the death of young actor Sushant Singh Rajput earlier this year.

Padukone, 34, arrived at the Narcotics Control Board’s (NCB) office in Mumbai on Saturday after receiving a summons earlier this week while on a shooting stint in the western beach resort of Goa. Media reports say no drugs have been seized from her.

The NCB started the Bollywood drug probe after the death of Rajput, 34, whose body was found at his Mumbai residence in June.

According to the local media, Padukone was being questioned on whether she procured banned drugs for consumption following an interception of phone messages regarding making queries with local contacts.

She is among more than a dozen Bollywood professionals who have been questioned by the NCB in the past two weeks over the movie industry’s alleged links with drug peddlers and cartels.

Padukone’s manager Karishma Prakash was questioned on Friday.

Earlier this week, TV channel TimesNow broadcast sections of a WhatsApp conversation about procuring hash, alleging that the two people chatting were Padukone and her manager.

At least three other Bollywood actresses – Sara Ali Khan, Shraddha Kapoor and Rakul Preet Singh – have also been summoned by the NCB.

Kapoor and Khan, both daughters of famous Bollywood actors, appeared before the agency on Saturday, while Singh’s statement was recorded on Friday.

Filmmaker Karan Johar, who has also been a target of TV channels and social media users since Rajput’s death, on Friday said in a statement that allegations of narcotics being consumed at a party hosted by him in July last year at his residence were “false and baseless”.

Johar’s response came after an old video from a star-studded party at his residence surfaced on social media.

While an investigation into Rajput’s death is continuing, the saga has morphed into a probe by authorities into drug-taking within Bollywood, a multibillion-dollar film industry.

Rajput’s death also sparked a media frenzy with India’s news channels speculating that his former girlfriend, actress Rhea Chakraborty, drove him to kill himself with narcotics and even black magic.

Rajput’s family disputed reports that he suffered from depression and openly accused Chakraborty, 28, of stealing his money and harassing him.

A cancelled wedding and two surgeries – Olympic hopeful Shauna Coxsey's lockdown

British climber Shauna Coxsey hopes her sport will still make its much-anticipated Olympic debut next year, but says the Games should only take place if it is “truly safe” to hold it.

Organisers have since stated they will “simplify” the original plans for the Games, but at this stage they are not looking to decrease the number of athletes or sports.

“It’s really important that sport goes on, but it’s not right to risk the wellbeing or safety of athletes,” world bouldering bronze medallist Coxsey said.

“It’s a massive and exciting opportunity for my sport to be showcased at the Games, but I don’t want anyone to be put at risk.

“We have to put trust in the federations and governing bodies to do the right thing.”

The climbing discipline created for the Olympics is effectively the sport’s version of a triathlon as it will combine the three disciplines of speed, bouldering and lead in one event with scores from each totalled together to decide the female and male medallists.

‘I had to postpone my wedding’

It has been estimated two-thirds of the weddings scheduled to take place in the UK this year have been impacted by coronavirus, with 27-year-old Coxsey and her fiance Ned Feehally one of the many unfortunate couples forced to postponed their big day.

“It was hard to adjust to the [Olympic] Games being delayed and we’d gone into lockdown. Then my wedding was cancelled on the same day so it was hard,” she said.

“I’m a really positive person though and I tried to make the most of the time so I decided to have surgeries that I needed on my knee and wrist, so I can get as healthy and fit as possible for when competitions do return.”

‘Covid has hit climbing hard’

When the United Kingdom went into a national lockdown at the end of March, Olympic, Paralympic and all public training venues were closed.

Most athletes who are funded by and train in UK Sport-funded facilities were able to return to those venues in some capacity within a couple of months, but as British climbers use private facilities they were not able to return to indoor sites until late July.

Coxsey adapted her home in Sheffield to provide her with the training tools she needed while venues were closed, but she is well aware of the struggles the industry is facing.

“Covid has had a huge impact on the climbing industry,” she said. “Walls had to be closed to protect the public which was right but it’s been hard and I can see the effect ongoing.

“Further closures [because of increased restrictions] could be devastating to climbing businesses around the country.”

The government ‘must support sport’

Earlier this week, leaders from more than 100 British national governing bodies wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning of a “lost generation of activity” because of coronavirus and requesting the creation of a government-backed “sport recovery fund”.

“There’s been a lot of questions about what happens to elite sport, but almost more important is grassroots and participation as that’s the foundation,” said Coxsey.

“We often think of sport as something for our physical fitness, but it’s also about our mental wellbeing, so it’s important the power of sport is recognised and the government supports the return to sport by keeping training centres open and boosting participation.”

Coxsey is planning to return to competition and the rescheduled IFSC European Championships in Moscow in late November are a target.