AUGUST 09, 2020
At around 11:30 a.m. local time, unidentified gunmen on motorcycles attacked a vehicle carrying French aid workers about 6Km/ 4 miles east of the town of Koure in the Tillaberi Region as they visited a reserve hosting the country’s last herd of West African giraffes. The reserve is located about an hour drive from the capital, Niamey. According to a Nigerian official, the vehicle used by the group belong to the French humanitarian organization ACTED. Six French nationals were killed in the attack along with their local guide and driver. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
AUGUST 04, 2020
Shortly after 6 p.m. local time a huge explosion took place at a warehouse in Beirut port. According to the Interior Minister and the head of the General Security services, initial information suggests that a fire at warehouse containing fireworks spread into another warehouse where 2,750 tones of highly explosive ammonium nitrate, seized years ago, had blown up. At least 154 people were killed in the blast and nearly 6000 were injured. The death toll is likely to climb higher as many of the injured are in critical condition and scores of people are believed to have been buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings. The massive explosion, which rattled buildings on island of Cyprus, some 160Km/ 100 miles away, destroyed the port and caused severe structural damage to buildings up to 3Km/ 2 miles away. Most buildings in the city had their windows and glass doors blown away causing the large number of injuries. The explosion comes as the country struggle with unprecedented economic crisis, Covid -19 epidemic and ahead of 7 August verdict in a trial over the killing of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. Israel, which is in a state of war with the Lebanese militant organization Hizballah, denied any involvement in the blast and offered humanitarian aid. Prime Minister Hassan Diab declared three days of mourning.
AUGUST 02, 2020
At around at 6:44 p.m. local time a suicide bomber detonated a VBIED at the entrance gate of the prison in PD4 in the city of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province. Following the blast at least 10 militants stormed the complex tossed grenades and engaged security guards in a firefight. Following nearly 20 hours of firefights security forces managed to kill all the militants and regain control of the complex. At least 29 people were killed in the attack, including prisoners, civilians, prison guards and Afghan security personnel and 50 people were injured. At the time of the attack, there were nearly 1800 prisoners in the jail, including many from the Islamic State Khorasan and the Taliban. It was not immediately clear if the attack had been staged to free specific prisoners from the complex. According to provincial official, 1,025 prisoners escaped but many had been recaptured though the exact figures of who many remain at large is unclear. Following the attack, the entire city was put "under curfew, shops are closed and security perssonel were searching for escaped prisoners. Via its affiliated Amaq news agency, the Islamic State Khorasan claimed responsibility for the attack.
JULY 30, 2020
At around 7:40 p.m. local time a suicide bomber detonated a VBIED in Azadi roundabout in the city of Pul-e-Alam, the capital of Logar province, located approximately 75 km/ 45 miles south of the capital city Kabul. At least 17 people were killed in the blast and 21 were injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack which came hours before a three-day ceasefire declared by the Taliban militant group in honor of the religious holiday Eid al-Adha. The group declared involvement in the bombing.
JULY 27, 2020
A final year medical college student, Faisalabad who was kidnapped along Satiana Road in the city of Faisalabad, Punjab Province was rescued by police 16 hours later. The student was kidnapped after she visited a jewelry shop on July 27 at around 7 p.m. for Eid al-Adha (Muslim holiday) shopping. After shopping, the student entered her car to drive back home when she was surprised by an armed man who entered the back seat of her car and at gunpoint ordered her to drive towards Sargodha Road bypass. Once there the kidnapper tied her hands and forced her to sit on the front seat while he took over the wheel and drove the car to Chiniot. At around 10 p.m. the kidnapper, using the student cell phone, called her uncle and demanded a ransom of Rs20 million in return for her safe release. After being notified about the kidnapping by her parents, police formed a team to rescue the student. The team triangled the student’s cell phone number, which was used by the kidnapper and found that he was in Chiniot. The team guided the uncle in negotiating the ransom down to Rs15 million and set a drop off location for the kidnapper to collect money along Chiniot Road in an area that had been cordoned off by police officers. Police said the accused came to collect the money on a motorcycle and when the police moved to arrest him, he tried to flee from the scene, but was chased and arrested. Based on information gained from the kidnapper, the student was rescued from a house in Bhavana area where she was found tied to a bed and her mouth was covered with a mask and taped in a way that it could have led to suffocation. The weapon used by the kidnapper as well as the victim's car and mobile phone were recovered in the house. According to the police the 28-year-old kidnapper had no accomplices and had arrived in Faisalabad on the same motorcycle. (tribune.com.pk, 30 July 2020)