Nigerian kidnappers execute two more student captives, says state official

KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) – Nigerian criminals have killed two more student captives abducted from a northern university last week, said a state official on Monday, bringing the total number of executed hostages to five.

On Tuesday, armed men stormed Greenfield University in Kaduna state, killing one person and abducting an unknown number of students, the latest in a series of kidnappings at educational institutes that are mostly carried out for ransoms.

“Security agencies have just reported to the Kaduna State Government the recovery of two more dead bodies of Greenfield University students, killed by armed bandits today,” said Samuel Aruwan, Kaduna’s commissioner for its state ministry of internal security and home affairs.

A university spokesman did not immediately respond to calls and messages seeking comment.

Armed groups have repeatedly struck northern Nigerian schools and universities since December, abducting more than 700 students for ransom.

The government and security forces have largely been unable to stop the attacks as they struggle to contain worsening violence and criminality across the West African country.

(Reporting by Bosan Yakusak in Kaduna; Additional reporting by Garba Muhammad; Writing by Paul Carsten; editing by Grant McCool)

U.S. to execute only Native American on federal death row

By Jonathan Allen

(Reuters) – The United States is set to execute Lezmond Mitchell, a convicted murderer and the only Native American on federal death row, on Wednesday, despite opposition from the Navajo Nation, which says the government is infringing tribal sovereignty.

Mitchell, a Navajo, is set to be killed with lethal injections of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, at 6 p.m. in the Department of Justice’s execution chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana.

His lawyers and Jonathan Nez, the Navajo Nation president, have asked U.S. President Donald Trump for clemency, and Mitchell has asked the U.S. District Court in Washington to delay the execution while this is considered.

On Tuesday night, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his bid for a stay based on his lawyers’ argument that racial bias may have tainted the jury at his trial.

Absent intervention, Mitchell, 38, will become the fourth man to be executed by the U.S. government this summer after an informal 17-year hiatus, which was caused in part by legal challenges to lethal injection protocols and difficulties obtaining deadly drugs.

Mitchell and an accomplice, Johnny Oslinger, were convicted of murdering a 9-year-old Navajo girl, Tiffany Lee, and her grandmother Alyce Slim in 2001 on the tribe’s territory, which spans four states in the U.S. Southwest.

According to prosecutors, the men stabbed Slim more than 30 times, put the body in the backseat of her car alongside the granddaughter as they drove elsewhere before killing the girl later and decapitating both bodies.

Mitchell was sentenced to death in an Arizona federal court over the objection of Navajo officials, who said the tribe’s cultural values prohibited taking human life “for vengeance.” At least 13 other tribes joined the Navajo Nation in urging Trump this month to commute Mitchell’s sentence to life in prison.

Oslinger was a teenager at the time and ineligible for the death sentence.

Under the Major Crimes Act, the federal government has jurisdiction over certain major crimes occurring on Indian territory, including murder but usually cannot pursue capital punishment for a Native American for a crime on tribal land without the tribe’s consent.

Navajo officials, along with other leaders of other tribes, have opposed the death penalty, including in Mitchell’s case. But John Ashcroft, attorney general under then-President George W. Bush, overrode federal prosecutors in Arizona who said they would defer to the tribe’s position against pursuing a capital case.

In what Mitchell’s lawyers deride as a legal loophole, federal prosecutors successfully pursued a capital case against Mitchell for carjacking, a capital crime that is not among those listed in the Major Crimes Act.

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

ISIS Publicly Executes 13 Teens For Watching Soccer

An activist group inside Syria has reported the terrorist group ISIS brought 13 teenage boys into the middle of a Raqqa street and slaughtered them for watching a soccer match between Iraq and Jordan.

The boys were killed because the terrorists said their watching the match “broke Islamic principles.”

“The bodies remained lying in the open and their parents were unable to withdraw them for fear of murder by terrorist organization,” the group, Syria Being Slaughtered Silently, wrote on their website.

The murders come two days after the group released a video showing them throwing two men off the top of a tower in Mosul.  The video shows a terrorist saying the two men violated Islamic law.

The group which released the information about the murders had published videos showing women taken from western countries being forced into internet cafes to call their families and tell them how much they love it under ISIS’ Caliphate.

Pakistan To Execute 500 Terrorists In Response To Taliban Murder

The Pakistan government has announced plans to execute 500 convicted terrorists in response to the Taliban’s killing of 133 children and 15 teachers at an Army Public School in Peshawar.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced last week the government was lifting a moratorium on the death penalty in terrorism related cases.  Reports say that at least six terrorists have already been hung.

“Interior ministry has finalized the cases of 500 convicts who have exhausted all the appeals, their mercy petitions have been turned down by the president and their executions will take place in coming weeks,” an unnamed source told AFP news agency.

Pakistan officials said the attack on the school was their own country’s 9/11.

The United Nations has spoken out against Pakistan ending the moratorium on the death penalty for convicted terrorists.

The terrorists were unrepentant, releasing a video saying they will continue to kill children if any of the terrorists children are killed by military action against them.