The Big 5: Police, Army release casualty figures from attacks by bandits and Boko Haram in Zamfara and Yobe; I won’t rest until Chibok girls are released – Buhari | Other top stories

These are the stories you should be monitoring today:

The Nigerian Army on Tuesday said eight soldiers have been confirmed dead in an attack on its base in Buni Gari, Yobe by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction of Boko Haram, on Saturday.

“Eight of our gallant troops paid the supreme price while over 10 Boko Haram terrorists were killed by the troops during the encounter,” army spokesman Brigadier General Sani Usman told AFP by text message.


Similarly, the Nigerian Police has refuted media reports that 50 of its officers were killed by bandits in Zamfara on Thursday, but however admitted it lost 16 men in the incidence.

According to an update provided late Tuesday, the police said a search and rescue operation by a Police Joint Intervention Force, found 20 policemen alive and 16 men killed, adding that 85 suspects were arrested in the massive operation after a daredevilry ambush by the criminals.

Police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood in a statement also noted that “Police Special Forces personnel, Counter Terrorism Unit, Police Mobile Force, Federal SARS personnel with three (3) surveillance patrol helicopters have commenced an on-going operation being strengthened to rout out the remnant armed bandits and other criminal elements in the caves and mountains in the identified bandits hideouts in some locations in Zamfara State.”


President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that his administration will not rest until the remaining Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped in April 2014 by Boko Haram terrorists and others still being held by insurgents are released .

The President is said to have renewed his commitment to the safe release of the captives on Monday in Katowice, Poland during a bilateral meeting between him and Swiss President Alain Berset on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP24, adding that President Buhari thanked the Swiss Confederation for its efforts and important role as intermediaries to secure the release of some of the schoolgirls.

President Buhari and Besert also discussed joint strategies to ensure the safe return of the girls, building on the past success of securing the release of some of the girls and other abducted persons in the Northeast, a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu read.


Effort by the Federal Government on Tuesday to get striking lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) back to work failed, as the meeting between both parties failed to come up with a concrete decision.

National President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, who spoke to journalists after the meeting, which is the third between both parties since the strike began on November 4, said a concrete decision was yet to be reached, adding that the meeting will reconvene very soon to continue negotiations.

“For now, we have started to discuss, we are yet to reach any concrete decision. Once we have more information, we will make ourselves available to the press,” he said.


The Police in Cross River has debunked reports that several people were killed in the communal clash between four communities of Biase local government area.

Speaking to Channels Television at the state CID in Calabar, the capital on Tuesday,  the State Commissioner of Police, CP Hafiz Inuwa, said the information is fake, misleading and a compendium of lies calculated to cause tension fear and panic in the state, as he enjoined members of the general public to go about their lawful businesses.

He however, admitted that the crisis had been ongoing for a while now, following a land tussle between the communities.


And stories from around the world:

The French government has backed down on planned fuel tax hikes in a bid to draw the heat out of fierce protests that have escalated into the deepest crisis of Emmanuel Macron’s presidency.

The concessions, coming after an earlier 500-million-euro ($570 million) relief package for poorer households, mark the first time 40-year-old Macron has given ground in the face of public opposition. (AFP)


Brazil’s right-wing President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, who was voted in on an anti-corruption platform, said on Tuesday he would take action if a campaign funding investigation into his future chief of staff shows wrongdoing. (Reuters)


Ministers will again battle to win over MPs to Theresa May’s Brexit deal later, a day after the government suffered three defeats on key votes.

Security will be the focus of the second of five days of debate in the Commons, where Tuesday’s marathon session extended into the early hours. (BBC)


US senators say they are more certain than ever after a private CIA briefing that the Saudi crown prince had a role in the murder of a journalist.

In a blistering attack, Senator Lindsey Graham said he had “high confidence” Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, with the South Carolina Republican describing the Saudi royal as “a wrecking ball”, “crazy” and “dangerous.”  (BBC)


The United States has made 11 attempts to begin negotiations with Iran in the last two years, all rejected by Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying on Tuesday. (Reuters)

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