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Trouble As Iranian Commander, Six Others Killed In Israel Strike On Syria Consular Annex

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Israeli air strikes destroyed the Iranian embassy’s consular annex in Damascus Monday, Syrian and Iranian officials said, with a top Revolutionary Guard commander among seven members the force said were killed, amid worsening regional tensions.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps named Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and another high-ranking officer, Brigadier General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, as among seven of its members killed.

Britain-based war monitors the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 11 people, including several Guards members, were killed when “Israeli missiles… destroyed the building of an annexe to the Iranian embassy”.

The toll includes “eight Iranians, two Syrians and one Lebanese — all of them fighters, none of them civilians,” Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Observatory with a network of sources in Syria, told AFP.

Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, giving a lower toll, told Iranian state TV that “at least five people were killed in the attack which was carried out by F-35 fighter jets” which fired six missiles at the building.

AFP reporters saw the annex building had caved in, and emergency services were rushing to search for victims under the rubble as sirens wailed in the upscale Damascus district of Mazzeh.

Security personnel shielded the site where earth-moving equipment was brought in to clear the debris and remove charred vehicles from the road outside, watched by a crowd of onlookers.

Syria’s defence ministry said “the attack destroyed the entire building, killing and injuring everyone inside, and work is underway to recover the bodies and rescue the wounded from under the rubble”.

Iranian state TV said Zahedi — a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations arm, the Quds Force — was among the dead.

The Observatory said Zahedi served as the leader of the Quds Force for Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, adding that he was killed along with his deputy, his aide, and the Quds force chief of staff for the same three countries.

Two other members of the Guards and two Iranian advisers were also killed in the strike, the Observatory said.

The targeted building is next to the Iranian embassy, the front of which is decorated with a large portrait of Qassem Soleimani, the architect of Iran’s military operations in the Middle East, killed in January 2020 in an American drone strike in Iraq.

The Damascus strikes were the fifth in a week to hit Syria, whose President Bashar al-Assad is supported by Iran, Israel’s long-time arch foe in the region.

Syria’s state news agency SANA had earlier reported that “our air defence systems confronted enemy targets in the vicinity of Damascus”.

Iran’s ambassador, Akbari, vowed the attack “will lead to our decisive response”, adding “the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate shows the reality of the Zionist entity which recognises no international laws and does all that is inhumane to achieve its goals”.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian called for a “serious response by the international community”.

Only the gate of the building was left standing after the attack, with a sign mentioning “the consular section of the embassy of Iran”, an AFP journalist said.

Window panes in buildings within a 500-metre (550 yard) radius had been shattered, and many parked cars were damaged by the blast.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad also denounced the attack after visiting the site, calling it a “heinous terrorist attack… killing a number of innocent people”, in a statement carried by SANA.

The Gaza war, which started with the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, has devastated the coastal territory and also seen Israel and Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah exchange near daily cross-border fire.

Israel has also struck targets in Syria, mostly army positions as well as those of Iran-backed combatants.

Hamas condemned “in the strongest terms” the attack which it called a “dangerous escalation.”

Moscow, a Damascus ally along with Tehran, blamed “the Israeli Air Force” for the “unacceptable attack against the Iranian consular mission in Syria.”

The Damascus strike came three days after the Observatory reported Israeli strikes that had killed 53 people in Syria, including 38 soldiers and seven members of Hezbollah.

It was the highest Syrian army toll in Israeli strikes since the Israel-Hamas war began, said the monitor.

“Syria and Lebanon have become one extended battleground from the Israeli perspective,” Riad Kahwaji, head of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, told AFP after the Friday strikes.

The bloodiest ever Gaza war erupted with the Palestinian militants’ unprecedented October 7 attack which resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory campaign, aimed at destroying Hamas, has killed at least 32,845 people, mostly women and children, according to the Gaza health ministry..

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‘Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish’, Nigerians React As High Court Sentence Bobrisky To Six-Month Imprisonment

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Nigerians have taken to microblogging platform, X (formerly known as Twitter) to express their thought on the court judgment, which saw cross-dresser, Idris Okuneye, popularly known as Bobrisky, sentenced to six months imprisonment.


Recall that Bobrisky, on Friday, was sentenced to six months in jail with no option of a fine.

The judgement was passed by Justice Abimbola Awogboro of the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, April 4, filed six-count of money laundering and abuse of naira against him.

On Friday, April 5, the EFCC arraigned Bobrisky in court on six charges, including Abuse of the Naira and Money laundering.

The court, however, dismissed the money laundering charges but convicted him of Naira Abuse after he confessed to the crime.

Some Nigerians, reacting to the court judgement, saw the ruling as an injustice against the cross-dresser.

Others wondered which section Bobrisky will be in jail because of the controversy around the gender he aligns with.

See some reactions below:

@brodamike07 wrote, “If this is true, the judgment is harsh and should be condemned by all.”

@Grachidex wrote, “So is it gonna be the male or female prison?”

@iamkelechiO wrote, “I honestly don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a bad influence in the society.

“Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

@_konfam wrote, “This is not right at all, they’re sentencing him over what everyone is guilty of?”

@IamKonrade wrote, “I hope this sets precedence and that anyone who violates the naira, politicians inclusive, is sentenced.”

@JoyMart14 wrote, “May we not offend people wey no deh accept apology ”

@Iamlexprince wrote, “Ok, now this is pure wickedness and jealousy. Bobrisky is the least of our problem in this country. If they channel that same energy to the right people, we for no dey complain for this country.”

@divfee wrote, “This country funny, is she the first to spray money like this in naija??

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Junior Pope: Police Recover Three More Bodies From Boat Mishap

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Police authorities in Anambra State have recovered three more bodies from a boat accident involving a movie cast.

Nollywood star Junior Pope Odonwodo was part of the crew that drowned in the boat mishap two days back.

While some crew members were yet to be found following the boat tragedy, the spokesperson of the Anambra State Police Command Tochukwu Ikenga said three more bodies of members of the movie cast have been recovered.

“Marine Police of Anambra State Command has recovered bodies of the three remaining victims of the unfortunate boat accident involving a movie cast,” he said in a Friday statement.

“Two of the bodies were recovered yesterday 11th April, 2024 while the last was washed in by the tide this morning.”

The bodies have been deposited at a morgue in Asaba, Delta State while authorities of the guild of actors have also been informed about the recovery.

The spokesman quoted the state’s police commissioner Aderemi Adeoye as advising water commuters to be safety conscious while in transit.

According to the commissioner, the police are fast-tracking the investigation into the accident.

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Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail

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The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has granted bail to a former Central Bank (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele.

Justice Rahman Oshodi granted him bail in the sum of N50m with two sureties in like sum.

The court also held that the sureties must be gainfully employed and have three years of tax payment with the Lagos State Government.

Justice Oshodi said that the sureties must show proper identification and they must be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.
Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail
The judge also said that he was satisfied with the bail conditions of N1 million, earlier given to Emefiele’s co-defendant Henry Isioma-Omoil who is standing trial on another charge before Justice Olufunke Sule-Hamzat of the Lagos High Court sitting in Yaba.

According to the court, the bail documents must be transferred to the special offences court and it must also be registered in the Lagos State Bail Management System.

Last week Monday, the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Emefiele before the court on a 26-count bordering on alleged abuse of office and irregular allocation of $4.5 billion and N2.8 billion respectively

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