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Six French Aid Workers, Driver and Guide Killed By Gunmen In Niger

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look: 10 August 2020

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The six aid workers and assistants were killed at a wildlife reserve.

Security (Personal, Travel) // BLUF: Six French aid workers, their guide and their driver were killed by gunmen at a giraffe reserve near the capital city of Niamey, Niger on Sunday.

French humanitarian aid group ACTED had stated that their members were involved in the attack.

The aid workers and assistants were " ... were intercepted and killed,” according to the regional governor, while a spokesperson for the giraffe reserve had said that the people responsible were a "unit of terrorists".

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. However, Islamic militant group Boko Haram and Islamic State affiliates operate within parts of Niger, where travel is not advised.

(See Point 1 Below for Further Information)

The Daily Quick-Look for 10 August 2020

The Deciport Daily Quick-Look is your at-a-glance look at several key events and situations around the world over the last 24 hours. Each headline contains the link to its source report.

BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front.

FYSA = For Your Situational Awareness.

1. NIGER - Security (Personal, Travel): Gunmen kill six French aid workers, their driver and guide in Niger - minister

FYSA: Gunmen on motorcycles killed six French aid workers, a Nigerien guide and a driver in a wildlife park in Niger on Sunday, officials said. The group was attacked in a giraffe reserve just 65 km (40 miles) from the West African country’s capital Niamey, the governor of Tillaberi region, Tidjani Ibrahim Katiella, told Reuters. “They were intercepted and killed,” he said. The six worked for an international aid group, Niger’s Defence Minister Issoufou Katambé told Reuters. Officials had earlier described them as tourists. Separately, a spokesman for French humanitarian aid group ACTED said its staff members were involved. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the assault. But France and other countries have warned people against travelling to parts of Niger where militants including Boko Haram and an affiliate of Islamic State operate. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

2. LEBANON - Security: Beirut police fire tear gas as protesters regroup and two ministers quit

FYSA: Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse rock-throwing protesters blocking a road near parliament in Beirut on Sunday in a second day of anti-government demonstrations triggered by last week’s devastating explosion. Fire broke out at an entrance to Parliament Square as demonstrators tried to break into a cordoned-off area, TV footage showed. Protesters also broke into the housing and transport ministry offices. Two government ministers resigned amid the political fallout of the blast and months of economic crisis, saying the government had failed to reform. Tuesday’s explosion of more than 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate killed 158 people and injured more than 6,000, compounding months of political and economic collapse and prompting furious calls for the government to quit. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

3. INDIA - Security (Environmental): At least 29 killed in monsoon-triggered landslide

FYSA: At least 29 people were killed after a massive landslide, triggered by monsoon rains, swept away dozens of tea-estate workers in southwestern India, according to the police. The landslide in Idukki district, approximately 250km (155 miles) from Kerala state's capital Thiruvananthapuram, took place on Friday, but search and rescue efforts have been hampered by torrential downpours. "By yesterday evening, we had taken out 26 dead bodies. We have taken out three more today," a district police official told the AFP news agency on Sunday. Local media reported that some 78 people were believed to live in the area; many are still missing. Kerala has been hit by deadly floods during the annual monsoon. At least 18 people died in a passenger jet crash in Kerala on Friday when an Air India Express jet overshot the runway while trying to land in a storm and plunged down a bank. (Al Jazeera. See link in heading for further reading)

4. THAILAND - Security, Political: Thailand protests heat up as economy worsens amid pandemic

FYSA: Protesters in Thailand say the arrest of two leaders will not stop their campaign to force the government out. The pair were charged with sedition and breaking coronavirus rules in connection with recent protests, before being released on bail. (Al Jazeera. See link in heading for video)

5. AUSTRALIA - Security (Health): Victorians flee Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown using sneaky loophole

FYSA: Thousands of Victorians are reportedly looking to flee the state for good, heading north to Queensland to escape stage 4 restrictions. And people are so keen to escape to the Sunshine State, they’re snapping up million-dollar properties without even seeing them first. According to online removalist platform Muval, 20,000 Victorians have looked at relocating since stage 4 lockdown was announced a week ago. Brisbane was their top choice, with 21 per cent wanting to relocate there, Muval said. About 17 per cent wanted to go to Perth and 15 per cent to Sydney. “A lot of the calls we take are from people who have either lost their job or have had a business close down and they’re looking to relocate,” Adam Coward, who runs the site, told Seven News. (News.com.au. See link in heading for further reading)

6. NEW ZEALAND - Security (Health): New Zealand records 100 days without domestic virus case but warns against complacency

FYSA: New Zealand marked 100 days without a domestic transmission of the coronavirus on Sunday, but warned against complacency as countries like Vietnam and Australia which once had the virus under control now battle a resurgence in infections. New Zealand’s successful fight against COVID-19 has made the Pacific island nation of 5 million one of the safest places in the world right now. New Zealanders have returned to normal life, but authorities are concerned that people were now refusing testing, not using the government contact tracing apps, and even ignoring basic hygiene rules. “Achieving 100 days without community transmission is a significant milestone, however, as we all know, we can’t afford to be complacent,” Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said. “We have seen overseas how quickly the virus can re-emerge and spread in places where it was previously under control, and we need to be prepared to quickly stamp out any future cases in New Zealand,” he said. (Reuters. See link in heading for further reading)

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