1. Gunmen kill twenty six people in central Nigeria.
Twenty six people have been killed by an armed gang in Niger State, central Nigeria. Dozens of men rode into the town of Kotonkoro and opened fire on a local defence force formed of volunteers, twenty-five of whom were killed in the exchange. A solider belonging to the Nigerian armed forces was killed at an army outpost shortly prior to the confrontation between the local defence force and the criminals. It is common in Nigeria for local groups to form semi-official defence forces to defend their neighbourhoods against bandits. These kinds of attacks, unrelated to the country’s ongoing fight against Boko Haram, have become increasingly common in central Nigeria in recent months.
2. Dire effects of insurgency worsen in Palma, northern Mozambique.
Attacks by Islamist militants in the town of Palma in northern Mozambique have continued this week. Thousands of the town’s residents have fled to neighbouring Tanzania as well as the regional capital of Pemba which is 225 miles away. As many as sixty foreign workers are currently missing after their convoy was attacked fleeing a hotel complex. It is believed that only seven of the seventeen vehicles in the convoy arrived at their destination securely, with seven individuals confirmed dead and many in the vehicles suffering injuries. Attempts to secure the town by security forces are ongoing with reports on Monday 5th April pointing to the Mozambique Army having retaken the city.
3. Militaries of Sri Lanka and Pakistan conduct joint counterterrorism exercises.
The Sri Lankan and Pakistani armed forces have conducted a fifteen-day set of joint exercises aimed at improving bi-lateral cooperation and sharing both nation’s expertise in fighting terrorism. Styled as operation “Shake Hands” the exercises took place in Saliyapura in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. General Shavendra Silva, Sri Lanka’s Chief of the Defence Staff, noted that “Pakistan has remained to date a true friend of Sri Lanka during all her critical endeavours and always stood with Sri Lanka”.
4. Twenty two Indian security personnel killed in firefight with rebels.
Twenty two members of the Indian security forces have been killed in a firefight with Maoist rebels in Central India. Security forces were ambushed returning from a search operation in a forest in the Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh. State Police Director Ashok Juneja announced that the rebels had also looted weapons, ammunition, uniforms and shoes from the killed personnel. An as yet unknown number of the rebels were also killed in the confrontation. This was the largest attack carried out by Maoist terrorists in India since 2017.
5. Australia to build guided missiles in order to boost security and indigenous defence production.
Australia announced on Wednesday the 31st of March that it would seek to produce smart missile technology in order to bolster its national security and defence production capacity. Noting that Australia is operating in a “changing global environment”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the country would work with private sector defence contractors to build the missiles, simultaneously creating thousands of jobs and creating export opportunities. Morrison continued on to say that “creating our own sovereign capability on Australian soil is essential to keep Australians safe”.