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Boko Haram kills 32, kidnaps scores in Nigeria

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Boko Haram militants killed 32 people and kidnapped scores of others, including women and children, in a brutal attack on a village in the northeast, officials and a witness said Thursday.

In neighboring Cameroon, the Islamic extremists launched a raid on army base in the border town of Amchide, but were repelled in a fierce gun battle with troops that left 116 insurgents dead, according to Cameroon’s defense ministry.

Separately, a Nigerian court martial late Wednesday sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny after they refused to deploy for an operation against Boko Haram, blaming a lack of weapons and other equipment.

The court martial underscored the struggles Nigeria’s military has faced in containing the five-year Islamist uprising. Civilians complain that they are left defenseless by troops who are often absent when the militants attack.

The insurgents, fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, have seized large swathes of territory in the northeast, while cross-border violence has spread in recent months, forcing more than 1.5 million people to flee their homes.

A convoy of heavily armed Boko Haram gunmen stormed Gumsuri in Borno state on Sunday, throwing petrol bombs into buildings and leaving much of the village destroyed, two local officials and a witness said.

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‘Wives and daughters taken’

Both officials with the municipal government, who requested anonymity, put the death toll at 32.

They said local people were still counting the number of those abducted by the jihadists and warned that the figure could pass 100.

Details of the attack took four days to emerge from the isolated village, roughly 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Borno’s capital Maiduguri, because the mobile phone network has largely collapsed and many of the roads are impassable.

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“After killing our youths, the insurgents have taken away our wives and daughters,” said Mukhtar Buba, who fled Gumsuri to Maiduguri.

Gumsuri is located on the road that leads to Chibok, where Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls from a school in April.

One of the local officials said the village had previously been protected against Boko Haram by a strong vigilante force, but that they were overpowered in Sunday’s attack.

“For the past one year, the insurgents have made several attempts to attack Gumsuri but were resisted by the gallant youths of the village,” he told AFP.

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“It is sad that on Sunday, the village was subdued,” he added.

Cross-border violence

The military and police were not immediately available for comment.
Boko Haram has increasingly used kidnappings to boost its supply of child fighters, porters and young women who have reportedly been used as sex slaves.

Borno state is the epicenter of the Boko Haram conflict but the militants have tried to spread their uprising and want to introduce hardline Islamist rule in neighboring Cameroon.

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The defense ministry in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde said Wednesday’s raid in Amchide was carried out by several hundred Islamists who ambushed a column of military vehicles with explosives and simultaneously attacked the army base.

Cameroonian troops retaliated instantly, the ministry said, killing 116 insurgents while one soldier has been confirmed dead and another was missing.

According to the army, the Boko Haram fighters destroyed a pick-up and a troop truck, as well as seizing another military truck intact.

Mutineers convicted

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The Nigerian soldiers sentenced to death were part of a special forces group that was tasked with reclaiming territory lost to Boko Haram in August.

Their court martial was conducted behind closed doors and the military did not allow journalists to cover the decision, but defense lawyer Femi Falana confirmed the sentence given to 54 soldiers. He said five of the accused were acquitted.

Frontline troops have consistently complained that they lack the weapons and other supplies needed to face Boko Haram in insurgent strongholds.

The Islamists are known to have tanks, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and other heavy weaponry, while government troops have reported lacking ammunition for basic assault rifles.

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Wives of soldiers have staged protests outside a military base, trying to stop their husbands from heading to conflict areas without proper hardware, while some troops have set up protest camps outside Maiduguri to demand better equipment.

Nigeria is facing huge pressure to contain the violence before general elections due on February 14, but so far there have been few signs of progress, raising fears that the vote will be cancelled across the northeast.

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Alt-Right headed to court — the ‘serious injuries’ inflicted on two sisters could cost white nationalists $10 million

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Some of the most prominent members of the Alt-Right are being sued by two sisters for $10 million.

Sisters Tadrint and Micah Washington filed a lawsuit after being seriously injured in the fatal Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, the Daily Progress reported Saturday.

"The suit has since been narrowed to Fields, Kessler, Spencer, the National Policy Institute, William Regnery II, AltRight Corp., Mike Peinovich, Michael Hill, Matthew Heimbach, the Traditionalist Worker Party, the League of the South, Bradley Griffin, Vanguard America, Augustus Invictus, Chris Cantwell, Andrew Anglin, Moonbase Holdings, Identity Europa, Nathan Damigo and Elliott Kline," the newspaper reported.

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Man barricaded himself in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office in Queens

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The New York Police Department responded to a Saturday break-in at the Queens office of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by a 27-year-old man.

"The alleged trespasser barricaded himself in the 3rd floor office, hiding in a utility closet until police convinced him to come out," WPIX-TV reports.

"The man was taken to an area hospital for an evaluation. Charges against him are pending," ABC 7 reported.

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Trump wants Americans to watch interview where he broke federal law by soliciting foreign election help: ‘Enjoy the show!’

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Despite widespread criticism, President Donald Trump on Saturday stood by his comments to George Stephanopoulos -- and hyped an upcoming broadcast of the interview.

"I enjoyed my interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News," Trump claimed.

"So funny to watch the Fake News Media try to dissect and distort every word in as negative a way as possible. It will be aired on Sunday night at 8:00 P.M., and is called, “President Trump: 30 Hours” (which is somewhat misleading in that I personally spent only a small fraction of that time doing interviews. I do have a few other things to do, you know!)," he continued.

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