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African press review 18 July 2015

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has a security scare as he is mobbed by fans in end-of-Ramadan celebrations in Abuja. Nairobi's Wesgate mall reopens two years after the Shebab attack, and South Africa holds its breathe as Desmund Tutu remains in hospital with an undisclosed ailment.  

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Vanguard reports that 35 people were killed in the deadly attacks carried out by female suicide bombers in Benue and Yobe States. The victims include elderly statesman Chief Atoza Ihindan, who served under the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

The Tribune reports that the Nigerian Army has confirmed the deaths of 50 people in two separate bomb explosions   one in Damaturu, Yobe State, on Friday morning, and then another 15 killed and 40 injured in Gwange-sabon Pegi by a cemetery road in the heart of the troubled North-East state, thwarting the festivity in the town.

A statement issued on Friday in Abuja by the acting director of the Army's public relations, Colonel Sani Usman, said that the explosions occurred at screening areas of the Eid prayer ground.

Usman is also quoted by several newspapers as saying that the two suicide bombers who detonated the devices were an elderly woman and a 10-year-old girl.

Premium Times says there was a security scare at President Buhari’s first Eid-el Fitri prayers at the National Praying Ground in the capital Abuja Friday.

The newspaper says that the president himself told visitors that his security details were almost overwhelmed by wild youth who wanted to see him, during and immediately after the prayers. “I had to hold tight to my gown to get to my car," he said.

The Guardian also focuses on the incident which forced Buhari to comment about the attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan in 1981. As he put it, it is only God Almighty that protects leaders, because in a mob like this, anybody with a sharp knife can get access and do a lot of damage.

Punch leads with the ordeal of a six-year-old boy fighting for his life after being stabbed several times by his mother. The paper which carries a graphic photograph showing the still dripping three-inch gory-looking stab injuries inflicted on Promise Eboye by his own mother, as he laid in critical condition in hospital.

Punch found out that the woman known in her in Kollington area of Ijaiye, Lagos for wickedness, carried out the vicious attack using a broken bottle. The paper reports that the woman is not suffering from any mental condition and lives a fulfilling life with a new husband after breaking up with Promise’s biological father years ago, who now resides in Benin, Edo State. She has reportedly had been arraigned at Ojokoro Magistrate Court, Lagos on charges of assault and attempted murder, according to the newspaper.

Kenya Standard Digital welcomes the reopening this Saturday of the Westgate shopping mall, almost two years after the terror attack that left more than 67 people dead. According to the paper hundreds of Nairobi residents joined the inspector general of police, Joseph Boinnet, and Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero at the event.

The Standard says that the mall opens its doors to the public just a week before US President Barack Obama's maiden visit to his father's country. Kenya’s police chief told shoppers gathered at the mall that Kenyans were moving on with their normal lives adding that terrorists "will not hold them back."

And in South Africa, Mail and Guardian prays for the speedy recovery of Nobel laureat Desmund Tutu who was admitted in hospital this week with an "undisclosed persistent infection". The paper expresses the hope that the 83-year anti-apartheid icon will pull through, wondering what his countrymen would do without his “outspoken stance about the world’s injustices and even his infectious laughter”.

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