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Nigeria joins Muslim alliance to fight terror

Nigeria joins Muslim alliance to fight terror
December 15
17:01 2015

Nigeria is among the 34 Muslim-majority countries that Saudi Arabia is partnering with to combat terrorism.

Announcing a new alliance on Tuesday, Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi’s defence minister, said joint operations centre would be established in Riyadh, Saudi capital.

He said the alliance would co-ordinate efforts against extremists in Africa, Asia and other parts of the world.

The development is coming at a time when there is international pressure for Gulf Arab states to do more in the fight against the Islamic State militants.

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Neither Iraq nor Syria, whose governments are close to Shia-ruled Iran, are in the coalition, nor is Afghanistan.

“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” read a statement issued by Saudi government.

“They have a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organisations whatever their sect and name which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorise the innocent.”

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Speaking at a rare press conference on Tuesday, Salman expressed confidence that the campaign would yield results but offered few concrete indications of how military efforts might proceed.

“There will be international coordination with major powers and international organizations … in terms of operations in Syria and Iraq. We can’t undertake these operations without coordinating with legitimacy in this place and the international community,” he said.

Asked if the new alliance would focus just on Islamic State, he said: “it would confront not only that group but any terrorist organisation that appears in front of us”.

Islamic State has pledged to overthrow the monarchies of the Gulf and have mounted a series of attacks on Shi’ite Muslim mosques and security forces in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

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Apart from Nigeria, other countries are: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, the Palestinians, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

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