The Islamic State says its members were behind the Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, in a statement carried by the extremist group’s mouthpiece Amaq.
“Those, who carried out the attack that targeted the citizens of the coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka the day before yesterday were Islamic State fighters,” Amaq reported on Tuesday.
The statement refers to the U.S.-led coalition, which has been fighting the extremist group in Iraq and Syria since it took over large areas in the two countries in 2014.
The death toll from multiple suicide attacks at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka over the Easter weekend rose to 321 on Tuesday, the national day of mourning for the victims.
Police said that the increase was due to more people succumbing to injuries.
The bombings in Sri Lanka were intended as retaliation for last month’s attack against Muslims in Christchurch, according to initial investigations by the Sri Lankan government, the deputy defence minister said.
“We believe [the massacre] was carried out by an extreme Islamist group as a reprisal to the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand,” State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said in a statement to parliament.
“This group is known to have links to an organisation named National Thowheed Jamath. We should take immediate steps to ban any such organisation that have links to extremist elements,” he added.
Forty-two people have been arrested and over 20 houses searched in connection with investigations.
Wijewardene’s comments came as security forces and police searched the capital for a lorry and a van fitted with explosives identified by police in an intelligence report.
“The search is in progress, but nothing suspicious has been found so far,” a police officer said.
Police checked several motorcycles, cars, unattended parcels and other locations.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in Geneva that 45 children were killed and dozens were injured in the suicide attacks.
“No child should experience such a heartbreaking situation and no parents should lose their child forever under such horrible circumstances,” UNICEF spokesman Christophe Boulierac said.
Three minutes of silence were observed as more funerals of those killed in Sunday’s attacks took place.
Black and white flags were also raised in most towns as symbols of mourning.
The country has been under a state of emergency since late Monday.
High security was being maintained in Colombo and in Negombo, 35 kilometres bombings North of the capital, where a mass burial took place close to a church where more than 110 people were killed.
The state of emergency gives security forces special powers, including the right to search and arrest individuals.
#EndSARS: CNN Calls FG’s Bluff, Releases Second Report on Lekki Shootings
Amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government over its investigative report on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza during the #EndSARS protests, CNN has released a second report on the incident.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week described CNN’s report on the Lekki shootings as poor journalism, adding that the network deserved to be sanctioned.
Mohammed also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of CNN in Atlanta.
However, the network on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.
The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.
The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.
The fresh report also shows protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.
The National Broadcasting Commission, which is overseen by the information minister, had last month slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.
The Federal Government has been receiving flak from members of the United Kingdom Parliament and Amnesty International over the killing of protesters.
Buhari’s Letter Seeking Yakubu’s Confirmation as INEC Chairman Read in Senate
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, for a second term in office.
Buhari’s official communication to the red chamber was read on the floor during plenary on Tuesday, by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
He sought the lawmakers’ expeditious consideration of his request for another five-year tenure for Yakubu.
MDCN Suspends Beautiful Lagos Plastic Surgeon over Failed Surgery
A Lagos plastic surgeon, Anuoluwapo Adepoju, whose services allegedly resulted in the death of her patient, Nneka Onwuzuligbo, has been suspended indefinitely by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN).
MDCN took the interim disciplinary action against Ms Adepoju, owner of Med-Contour, a plastic surgery hospital, on Monday, pending the determination of her case with its disciplinary tribunal.
The plastic surgeon allegedly operated on the late Onwuzuligbo, a 2013 winner of Face of Democracy Transformation in Nigeria, at a medical facility on December 31, 2018.
The news of her patient’s death first went viral in February 2019.
Ms Adepoju is also currently being investigated over suspicion of illegal activities and alleged evasion from an investigation into the failed plastic surgery.
She is also charged with failure to comply with a summons by The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).
With the charges, nonetheless, Ms Adepoju continues to showcase photos and videos of her numerous cosmetic surgeries, ‘positive’ feedbacks, and patient transformations on her hospital’s Instagram handle which boasts over 74,000 followers.
The self-confessed body contour specialist and mother of two is also an Instagram celebrity who openly flaunts her curves.
Reacting to the development, FCCPC said it welcomed MDCN’s decision to impose interim measures suspending the plastic surgeon indefinitely from practicing medicine pending full and final disposition of disciplinary proceedings.
‘‘Every action, whether interim or final that prevents the risk of injury to patients/consumers and or mitigates the pain and suffering of citizens on account of injury by manufacturers or service providers is an important component of a larger effort to protect citizens.
‘’This is a demonstration that the system works and can endure, as well as inure to the benefit of society. Whether patient care or good manufacturing, ultimately, the highest responsibility is to consumers. We, as regulators, must hold producers and providers accountable to that obligation,’’ Ondaje Ijagwu, the agency’s spokesman, said in a statement issued on Monday.
The Lagos University Teaching Hospital had urged the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Investigation Panel to investigate the alleged professional misconduct of the Lagos plastic surgeon.
The hospital, in a petition dated June 11, 2020, and signed by its Director of Legal Services, O. O. Olajide, accused Ms Adepoju of professional misconduct during a surgery she performed on Ms Onwuzuligbo at her facility.
According to LUTH, Ms Adepoju had continued to perform surgeries despite the fact that her facility was sealed off by the Lagos State Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency.
In an affidavit attached to the petition, the hospital alleged that she (suspect) referred the victim from her facility to LUTH on January 3, 2019, on the pretext that she was being referred from the General Hospital, Odan, Lagos Island.
The victim, according to the affidavit deposed to by a consultant surgeon, Andrew Ugburo, was presented to LUTH with severe respiratory distress and septicemia with infected surgical wounds.
Mr Ugburo further deposed that the victim developed multiple organ failure of cardiac, respiratory and renal failures.
He also said the patient had a cardiac arrest “on the 31st day of admission”, adding that after cardio-pulmonary resuscitation was unsuccessful, the victim was certified dead around 9 a.m. on February 3, 2019.