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One of the injured persons

Military raids involving Air Force officers have claimed the lives of no fewer than 40 bandits in Malele village, in the Dansadau Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the Air Force, during a series of airstrikes undertaken by the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji, neutralised the terrorists at their hideouts in the village.

A report seen by one of our correspondents on Monday indicated that the military mobilised troops and airplanes for the attack on December 17, 2022.

The report read in part, “There are strong indications that strikes undertaken by the air component of Operation Hadarin Daji have recorded a major victory after hitting terrorists in Malele village in the Dansadau Local Government Area of Zamfara State.

“The security agencies, in particular, the military and the Air Force, have since Saturday, December 17, 2022, mobilised their troops and airplanes to launch attacks and airstrikes against those warring bandits coming from different parts of the country with several terrorists being eliminated.”

The report said the bandits, while attempting to escape from the airstrikes, ran into Mutunji village, adding that over 40 of them were killed.

Angered by the development, the hoodlums, in reprisal, laid a siege to a military convoy en-route to Malele and opened fire.

The report said, “Luckily, no life was lost except a soldier, who sustained an injury. The soldier is positively responding to treatment. Other sources have also confirmed that terrorists’ kingpins — Halilu Jan Buzu, Turji and Adamu Aleiru, are making efforts to reinforce their colleagues on the battlefield after the devastating airstrikes.

“Halilu Buzu’s boys, in particular, were sighted along Dankurmi on their way to Malele, while those of Adamu Aleiru were seen at Yar Gada, a border between Dansadau and Gusau Emirates, waiting for sunrise to move to the battleground.”

However, an indigene of Mutunji village, in the Maru LGA of Zamfara State, Musa Abubakar, told one of our correspondents that the bandits killed 10 soldiers.

Abubakar said the soldiers were on their way to Mutunji to complement the Air Force in bombarding the bandits, adding that some bandits, who lurked at a spot on the road, ambushed them.

According to Abubakar, immediately the bandits sighted the soldiers, they came out of their hideout and opened fire, killing 10 of them on the spot.

He said, “The bandits, after killing the soldiers, and sighting the fighter jet, rushed to Mutunji village and hid in the market where many people were busy transacting their business.

“When the fighter jet arrived in the village, it dropped a bomb and 68 locals were killed while several others were seriously injured and taken to a hospital for treatment.”

Another resident, Sa’idu Ishaka, said he was in the market when the bomb was dropped by the fighter jet, adding that he narrowly escaped death.

Ishaka, who accompanied some injured persons to Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, said bandits came to their village in large numbers.

“When the aircraft approached the village, we just heard a heavy sound in the market and many shops went in flames. I narrowly escaped being killed but I saw several dead bodies in front of me.

“I was among the people who took part in burying 68 persons who were killed by the bomb blast,” he added.

However, PUNCH Metro could not confirm the 68 civilian casualty figure as of press time.

One of our reporters, who visited the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau, saw the dead bodies of the 10 soldiers being conveyed to a mortuary by the hospital staff.

The dead bodies were brought in an ambulance by the military around 3pm on Monday.

The state Commissioner on Security, DIG Mamman Tsafe (retd), who visited the hospital to see the slain soldiers and the injured persons, described the incident as “most unfortunate”.

Tsafe sympathised with the families of the soldiers and those injured.

“The incident happened at the time when security situation is considered to be improving”.

Calls to the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, were not answered, as he did not respond to a text message sent to his line as well.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Major General Musa Danmadami, could not also be reached to comment on the matter as of press time.

In a related development, hoodlums on Sunday reportedly killed 29 people in separate attacks on Malagum One and Sokwong communities of Kagoro Chiefdom in the Kaura LGA of Kaduna State.

The council Chairman, Mathias Siman, who confirmed the incident to PUNCH Metro on Monday, said seven people were killed in Sokwong.

The attack is coming barely five days after an invasion in Malagum, which resulted in the killing of three persons.

According to Siman, all the houses in Sokwong were razed by the terrorists.

Siman urged residents to remain calm as security agencies were carrying out an investigation into the matter.

The Speaker of Kaura LGA, Stephen Atuk, said over 22 people were killed in Malagum One.

Atuk called on the state government and security agencies to redouble their effort in order to curtail renewed killings in the area.

“Attacks in our area have been consistent and multi-dimensional with efforts of security operatives and government not seen or felt,” he added.

The spokesman for the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige, could not be reached for comment as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, has said the state is saddened by the killings in the two communities.

The commissioner, who stated that several residents were killed in the attacks and houses razed, added that Governor Nasir El-Rufai had directed the State Emergency Agency to provide relief materials to the communities.

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The Bible, pictured at a Utah Capitol reading in 2013, has been banned at schools in the Davis School District north of Salt Lake City. CREDIT: AP

Salt Lake City: The Good Book is being treated like a bad book in Utah after a parent frustrated by efforts to ban materials from schools convinced a suburban district that some Bible verses were too vulgar or violent for younger children.

And the Book of Mormon could be next.

The 72,000-student Davis School District north of Salt Lake City removed the Bible from its elementary and middle schools while keeping it in high schools after a committee reviewed the scripture in response to a parental complaint. The district has removed other titles, including Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and John Green’s Looking for Alaska, following a 2022 state law requiring districts to include parents in decisions over what constitutes “sensitive material”.

On Friday, a complaint was submitted about the signature scripture of the predominant faith in Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church. District spokesperson Chris Williams confirmed that someone filed a review request for the Book of Mormon but would not say what reasons were listed. Citing a school board privacy policy, he also would not say whether it was from the same person who complained about the Bible.

Representatives for the church declined to comment on the challenge. Members of the faith also read the Bible.

Williams said the district doesn’t differentiate between requests to review books and doesn’t consider whether complaints may be submitted as satire. The reviews are handled by a committee made up of teachers, parents and administrators in the largely conservative community.

The committee published its decision about the Bible in an online database of review requests and did not elaborate on its reasoning or which passages it found overly violent or vulgar.

The decision comes as conservative parent activists, including state-based chapters of the group Parents United, descend on school boards and statehouses throughout the United States, sowing alarm about how sex and violence are talked about in schools.

Because of the district’s privacy policy, it’s unknown who made the request for the Bible to be banned from Davis schools or if they are affiliated with any larger group.

A copy of the complaint obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune through a public records request shows that the parent noted the Bible contains instances of incest, prostitution and rape. The complaint derided a “bad faith process” and said the district was “ceding our children’s education, First Amendment Rights, and library access” to Parents United.

“Utah Parents United left off one of the most sex-ridden books around: The Bible,” the parent’s complaint, dated December 11, said. It later went on to add, “You’ll no doubt find that the Bible (under state law) has ‘no serious values for minors’ because it’s pornographic by our new definition.”

A scene from The Passion of the Christ (2003), which was based on the Bible gospels. CREDIT: AP

The review committee determined the Bible didn’t qualify under Utah’s definition of what’s pornographic or indecent, which is why it remains in high schools, Williams said. The committee can make its own decisions under the new 2022 state law and has applied different standards based on students’ ages in response to multiple challenges, he said.

An unnamed party filed an appeal on Wednesday.

The Bible has long found itself on the American Library Association’s list of most challenged books and was temporarily pulled off shelves last year in school districts in Texas and Missouri.

Concerns about new policies potentially ensnaring the Bible have routinely arisen in statehouses during debates over efforts to expand book banning procedures. That includes Arkansas — one of the states that enacted a law this year that would subject librarians to criminal penalties for providing “harmful” materials to minors, and creates a new process for the public to request materials be relocated in libraries.

“I don’t want people to be able to say, ‘I don’t want the Bible in the library,” Arkansas Democratic state Sen. Linda Chesterfield said during a hearing.

Parents who have pushed for more say in their children’s education and the curriculum and materials available in schools have argued that they should control how their children are taught about matters like gender, sexuality and race.

EveryLibrary, a national political action committee, told The Associated Press last month it was tracking at least 121 different proposals introduced in legislatures this year targeting libraries, librarians, educators and access to materials. The number of attempts to ban or restrict books across the US in 2022 was the highest in the 20 years, according to the American Library Association.

“If folks are outraged about the Bible being banned, they should be outraged about all the books that are being censored in our public schools,” said Kasey Meehan, who directs the Freedom to Read program at the writers’ organisation PEN America.


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I ran towards it while shouting ‘iwe, iwe shumba’

Just as Tachivei Machona Nebiri reached the crest of a steep ascent along the Charara Road in Kariba, he saw four lions, a female and three cubs, steal into a nearby thicket.

Nebiri was taken aback by the sight, but drew solace in the thought that the lions had not seen him and were going about their business.

While contemplating his next move, he saw the figure of another lion on the right side of the road, gazing at him.

It roared, and Nebiri froze.

The lion charged at him with a dishevelled mane and an accentuated chest, accompanied by a spine-chilling roar, which disturbed the serene Sunday morning.

At this stage, tonic immobility, mimicry and deimatic display could have been pulled out of the toolkit of prey faced with such a predator. These are theatrics of survival in the jungle theatre.

Nebiri did the unthinkable!

He dropped his bag, flipped the slippers off his feet, and ran towards the approaching lion, screaming and raising his hands.

It was around 6am on a Sunday as security guards on nightshift made their way home, while others walked to work.

Being a Sunday, the road was teeming with people.

“The first thing that crossed my mind as I saw the lion charging towards me was that should I show it my back, then I am dead,” recounted Nebiri.

“So, I ran towards the lion while screaming and raising my hands. In my mind I was saying, ‘I am dead anyway, so why not go down with a fight?’”

Pound for pound, he stood no chance, but like a titan, he charged anyway.

Could this have been a shock and awe strategy that temporarily disoriented the lion as it moved to the side of the road before engagement?

The adrenaline rush cut the 100-metre distance between them to about 10 metres, with the lion gaining on him.

Was it going for the kill or it was protecting the lioness and her cubs?

Man and beast came face to face, and the latter charged. Each charge was met with Nebiri’s animated return, which seemed to fend off the King of the Jungle.

“It would back pedal and come charging at me again, but I kept on shouting, ‘Iwe, iwe shumba’, while kicking in the air and raising my hands,” said Nebiri.

His animated gestures were synonymous with Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee’s martial arts displays. Asked if he was a trained karateka, Nebiri said he had never undergone any martial arts training.

With Nebiri growling, shouting, charging and mock charging, and the lion discharging sand and stones at him in a bid to obstruct his vision, the tango continued. After a 15-minute stand-off, the King of the Jungle gave in and retreated to his abode, leaving Nebiri nursing chest and rib pains owing to the protracted exertions.

When the lion withdrew into the bush, Nebiri back pedalled while remaining alert to any sudden movement.

Just as he feared, the lion suddenly reappeared from the bush and the battle continued with Nebiri shouting, kicking and raising his hands, again.

“I don’t know how I mustered the courage to confront the lion, and where the theatrics came from. I just found myself doing what in hindsight seem to be karate moves,” he said.

After some time, the lion retreated into the bush once more, but Nebiri did not drop his guard, until he saw and heard the lion roaring in a nearby mountain with the female reciprocating the call.

Evidence of the dance for survival was left conspicuous in the lion’s spoor and trampled grass.

Nebiri walked back towards his workplace and saw a vehicle heading in the direction of his home in Batonga. He waved it down.

The driver of the car, Hardlife Zawani, said Nebiri was panting as someone who had been running for a long time.

“I couldn’t believe it when he told me what had happened,” Zawani said, adding, “I drove him to the scene where we found his bag and slippers.”

Some residents who live near the area said they heard roaring noises, but thought it was an elephant.

“I could hear the noises from indoors. It went on for a long time. I thought it was a lion and an elephant fighting,” said a woman who did not want to be named.

The area between the University of Zimbabwe fisheries research station and Lomagundi Lakeside Association is a known crossing point for lions as they make their way to and from Lake Kariba to drink water.

Kariba residents in Nyamhunga, Batonga, and Garikai suburbs, among others, walk along the Chawara Road which is buffeted by 330kva power lines to work and school.

People work in lodges and houses in the Cutty Sark Harbour area, despite the lurking danger of wild animals, including elephants, buffaloes, hyenas and lions.

When The Herald visited the scene of the skirmish, some people were walking along the route used by the lions to and from the lake. Ironically, Nebiri had passed two boys who asked him if there were no elephants where he was coming from and he did the same.

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Screenshot of the family

The daughter also regretted the situation but said that regret could not change anything.

A mother from Congo has narrated the pain she felt after finding out her daughter had slept with her husband and ended up giving birth.

The disappointed mother halfheartedly accepted the results of the union and forgave her husband and agreed to live with her daughter as a co-wife.

According to the story, the mother was very hurt and had asked for a divorce, but she got the idea that this would not solve things and instead would put the seed of enmity between them, if not welcome the devil into the family.

“She wanted to send her husband to jail for forcing their daughter to sleep with him and have a child with him but she realized that was not the solution,” Afrimax reported.

The daughter also regretted the situation but said that regret could not change anything.

“After the mother came back, she realized that it was her mistake for leaving her husband for a long time, which led to the unfortunate situation. Then she decided to forgive and now they all live a good life as a polygamous family,” the article said.

Despite the challenges of the issue, they decided to bury their differences and come together to agree on the way forward, which is how they came to the resolution.

Source: Afrimax

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