MAIDUGURI: Suspected Islamist militants armed with guns and machetes killed at least 20 people in villages in Nigeria’s turbulent northeast, witnesses said yesterday.
The attacks on Wednesday and Thursday took place close to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state where Islamist sect Boko Haram launched an uprising in 2009.
Boko Haram, which wants to impose sharia law in northern Nigeria, and other splinter Islamist groups, are the biggest threat to stability in Africa’s top oil exporter.
“Fifteen people were killed in Gajiram on Wednesday night when the Boko Haram sect members attacked the town,” witness Modu Ngubdo told Reuters in Maiduguri, where he fled after the attack. Gajiram is around 40 miles from Maiduguri.
A further five people were killed by gunmen in the early hours of Thursday in the village of Bulabilin Ngaura, around 20 miles from the state capital, resident Aisami Babagana said.
The military did not respond to a request for comment. Information can take a long time to emerge from Borno where the army has cut the telephone network in an effort to disrupt communication between Boko Haram cells.
MADRID: Spanish King Juan Carlos’s scandal-hit daughter Cristina and her husband have put their seven-room mansion in Barcelona up for sale for ¤9.8m ($12.9 million), Spanish media reported yesterday.
The three-floor home in the exclusive Pedralbes area of the Catalan capital is listed with real estate firm Barcelonarent.info, which specialises in selling to wealthy Russians, daily newspaper El Mundo and other media reported.
Spanish media published several photos of the inside of the house and gardens taken from the firm’s website, which was inaccessible yesterday due to Internet traffic congestion.
The agency described the property as a “luxury villa in the most prestigious zone of Barcelona” in a “quiet and exclusive” area that allows for “maximum confidentiality”, El Mundo reported. The 1,000 sq m mansion has seven bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a large living room with a fireplace, and an elevator, along with a 1,300 sq m garden and salt water swimming pool.
JOHANNESBURG: A three-day strike by tens of thousands of South African gold miners wound down yesterday with most strikers agreeing to return to work after accepting the latest wage offer from employers, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said.
Gold producers said they had offered entry-level workers pay increases of 8 percent and a 7.5 percent rise for other employees from July this year, slightly above consumer inflation which was 6.3 percent in July.
For next year, employees would get inflation-linked increases, the companies said. The pay rise offer is far below the 15 to 60 percent NUM had originally been seeking. The unexpectedly quick end to the strike is a relief to Africa’s largest economy, hit by stoppages across a range of sectors including auto making, which have cost tens of millions of dollars a day in lost output. Agencies