JAMBS Kill hostages

2013-03-10
THE PUNCH Newspaper


A splinter group from the Boko Haram Islam sect, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan, otherwise known as JAMBS, on Saturday announced the murder of seven foreign expatriates that were abducted in Bauchi State, on February 16, 2013.

The leader of JAMBS, Abu Usamatal Ansary, stated in a message posted in a Islamic website that the decision to execute the expatriates followed reported attempts by British and Nigerian Forces to storm the area where the hostages were being kept and release them, contrary to earlier warnings issued by the sect.

The expartriates who were kidnapped from a Lebanese Construction Firm, Setraco, at Jama’are, in Bauchi , were three Lebanese, and a citizen each from Britain, Greece, Italy and the Philippines.

Ansary stated specifically that the group executed the expatriates because President Goodluck Jonathan contravened the sect’s warning by issuing a directive to security agents to rescue the abducted expatriates.

He stated also that the hostages were killed because five jet bombers belonging to the British Government, soldiers and intelligent agents were sighted in Bauchi by journalists thereby giving the indication of an operation to free the hostages by force.

The group’s leader further alleged in the statement that security operatives arrested several people including women some of whom were killed.

“As it may be recalled that JAMBS announced the capture of seven Christian foreigners and warned that should there be any attempt to rescue them by force, will render their lives in danger.

“The Nigerian Government has announced to do so by any means, they ignored our warnings as the President commands security agents.

“More so, the British Government sent five jet bombers, soldiers and intelligent… parading in Bauchi in order to rescue them.

“They also arrested many people including women and killed some of them.

“By this progress, the Nigerian and British Government operations led to the death of the seven Christian foreigners. Because a soul of a single believer (Mu’umin) is more than the lives of thousands of believers,” the statement read.

JAMBS, which broke out of the Boko Haram in January, also included supposed photographs of the executed victims and a picture of a man dressed in what looked like a military camouflage and was wielding a riffle on the Internet.

When our correspondent contacted the Director Defence Information, Col. Mohammed Yerima, he couldn’t confirm the killing of the hostages.

He said he was in Port Harcourt and that the network was bad. “In Port Harcourt, network is bad. Can’t confirm,” Yerima said.

The spokesman of the JTF in the North East, Col. Sagir Musa, neither picked the repeated calls placed to his mobile telephone line nor responded to text messages sent to him on the issue.

Meanwhile, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone, condemned the killings.

Advising the Federal Government to dwell more on intelligence to check insecurity, he described the proposed death penalty by the National Assembly as a mockery of the fight against terrorism.

Falana said, “Boko Haram menace has long attained international dimension, having been linked to al-Qaeda and the militants in Mali. Government has a lot to do beyond military onslaught, it has to address socio-economic crisis in the country, which lures youths into criminality.

“The National Assembly will have to stop making a mockery of the war against terrorism by proposing death penalty for terrorists. These people are ready to die; they are ready to kill themselves. Death sentence for them is barbaric and contradictory.”

 

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