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Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Azerbaijan Offer Help To Search President Raisi’s Helicopter

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Iranian search and rescue teams were scouring a fog-shrouded mountainside after a helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi went missing in an “accident” on Sunday, state media said.

Fears grew for the 63-year-old ultraconservative after contact was lost with the helicopter carrying him as well as Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in East Azerbaijan province, reports said.

“An accident happened to the helicopter carrying the president” in the Jolfa region of the western province, state television said, while some officials described the incident as a “hard landing”.

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“The harsh weather conditions and heavy fog have made it difficult for the rescue teams to reach the accident site,” said one state broadcaster.

More than 40 rescue teams using search dogs and drones were sent to the site, reported the IRNA news agency.

Raisi was visiting the province where he inaugurated a dam project together with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, on the border between the two countries.

Raisi’s convoy included three helicopters, and the other two had “reached their destination safely,” according to Tasnim news agency.

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READ ALSO: Iranian President: Hamas Raises ‘Great Concern’ Over Helicopter Crash

Foreign countries were closely following the search effort at a time of high regional tensions over the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas since October 7 that has drawn in other armed groups in the Middle East.

A US State Department spokesman said: “We are closely following reports of a possible hard landing of a helicopter in Iran carrying the Iranian president and foreign minister.

“We have no further comment at this time.”

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An Iranian Red Crescent team was seen walking up a slope in thick fog and drizzling rain, while other live footage showed worshippers reciting prayers in the holy city of Mashhad, Raisi’s hometown.

In neighbouring Iraq, Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani “instructed the interior ministry and the Iraqi Red Crescent and other relevant authorities to offer available resources… to aid in the search”.

Azeri President Aliyev said in a post on X that “we were profoundly troubled by the news of a helicopter carrying the top delegation crash-landing in Iran”.

“Our prayers to Allah Almighty are with President Ebrahim Raisi and the accompanying delegation,” he said, noting that his country “stands ready to offer any assistance needed”.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Helicopter Carrying Iran’s President Crashes

The accident happened in the mountainous protected forest area of Dizmar near the town of Varzaghan, said the official IRNA news agency.

Military personnel along with the Revolutionary Guards and police had also deployed teams to the area, said army chief-of-staff Mohammad Bagheri.

Iran’s Health Minister Bahram Eynollahi said medical resources had been dispatched.

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The reformist Shargh daily also reported that “the helicopter carrying the president crashed” while two other helicopters had landed safely.

Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said one of the helicopters “made a hard landing due to bad weather conditions” and that it was “difficult to establish communication” with the aircraft.

Raisi has been president of the Islamic Republic since 2021 when he succeeded the moderate Hassan Rouhani, for a term during which Iran has faced crisis and conflict.

READ ALSO: Iran Hangs 53-year-old Woman, Six Others

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He took the reins of a country in the grip of a deep social crisis and an economy strained by US sanctions against Tehran over its contested nuclear programme.

Iran saw a wave of mass protests triggered by the death in custody of Iranian-Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September 2022 after her arrest for allegedly flouting dress rules for women.

In March 2023, regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a surprise deal that restored diplomatic relations.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday voiced “great concern” after Sunday incident, offering to help with the response.

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We affirm that the Kingdom stands by the sisterly Islamic Republic of Iran in these difficult circumstances and its readiness to provide any assistance that the Iranian agencies need,” the foreign ministry of the Gulf kingdom, a longtime rival of Iran, said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Knock Seyi Tinubu For Preaching Endurance Over Economic Hardship

The war in Gaza that broke out on October 7 sent regional tensions soaring again and a series of tit-for-tat escalations led to Tehran launching hundreds of missiles and rockets directly at Israel in April 2024.

In a speech following Sunday’s dam inauguration, Raisi emphasised Iran’s support for Palestinians, a centrepiece of its foreign policy since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

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We believe that Palestine is the first issue of the Muslim world, and we are convinced that the people of Iran and Azerbaijan always support the people of Palestine and Gaza and hate the Zionist regime,” said Raisi.

Raisi, born in 1960 in northeast Iran’s holy city of Mashhad, served as Tehran’s prosecutor-general from 1989 to 1994, deputy chief of the Judicial Authority for a decade from 2004, and then national prosecutor-general in 2014.

His black turban signifies direct descent from the Prophet Mohammed, and state media has referred to him by the senior title of ayatollah in the Shiite clerical hierarchy.

 

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Insecurity: Nigerian Army Gets Aviation Wing, Acquires Fighter Helicopters

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The Federal Government has established an aviation wing for the Nigerian Army, and acquired fighter helicopters for its operations.

According to the Director of Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, the BELL UH-1H, HUEY helicopters were received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Friday.

He noted that the establishment of the Nigeria Army Aviation Wing would help strengthen operations.

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Nwachukwu said the BELL UH-1H Helicopters were equipped with advanced sensors and enablers to conduct a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, rescue, logistics, transportation and medical evacuation.

The statement reads: “NA has taken a significant step in enhancing its operational capabilities with the delivery of the first batch of new aircraft. The berthing of the aircraft marks a significant milestone in the development of the Nigerian Army Aviation’s capacity to provide air support for ground operations.

READ ALSO: Phone On Speaker Mode, 5 Other Things You Should Never Do On An Airplane

“The aircraft BELL UH-1H, HUEY, helicopters, were formally received by the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja in a brief ceremony held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Thursday 20 June, 2024.

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“Receiving the aircraft, General Lagbaja, noted that the renewed drive to establish an NA Aviation wing was conceived by the then-former COAS, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah, rtd, in 2014, with a three-phase ten-year implementation plan.

“The COAS extolled former Chiefs of Army Staff, maintaining that their tenacity and drive, along with the collective efforts of personnel and Nigerian Government’s political will, have been instrumental in realizing the fruition of NA Aviation.

READ ALSO: Residents Protest, Burn Tyres In Osun Community Over Alleged Imposition Of Monarch

“Gen Lagbaja appreciated the various successive administrations for their support in training NA Pilots and Ground Crews as well as putting in place requisite structures.

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“The Army Chief also appreciated the forerunners, particularly the sister services and the Nigerian Police Force Aviation wing, for their support and encouragement. He noted that the NA is spurred to serve the nation better with the acquisition of the new platforms and provide Nigerians, an enabling environment for economic prosperity.”

In his remarks at the event, the Coordinator, Nigerian Army Aviation, Brigadier General Musa Alkali, stated that the arrival of the Nigerian Army Aviation Vanguard platforms is a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance the operational capabilities of the Nigerian Army Aviation, in line with the Chief of Army Staff’s Command Philosophy.

 

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JUST IN: Otuaro Promises Revamp In Presidential Amnesty Programme

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The administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) Dr Dennis Otuaro has promised to commence education and vocational training for ex-agitators of the Niger Delta region.

Otuaro made the promise on friday at an ongoing stakeholders meeting in Warri, Delta State.

The stakeholders meeting, with the theme: Fostering, Consolidating And Collaborating for the Peace, Security, Stability and Development of the Niger Delta, is expected to last for five days.

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In his opening speech, Otuaro said the programme has to be redesigned for human capital development, just as he added so it can also give opportunity for women to sustain their small scale businesses in their various communities.

READ ALSO: PAP Administrator, Otuaro, Kicks Start Stakeholders Meeting In Warri, Invites Beneficiaries

He emphasized that he has given greenlight to those studying abroad to be remobilized for their studies after thorough documentation.

The PAP administrator who noted: “The university program was abruptly stopped and most of our delegates have not gone to school,” further promised to commence the education program as well as vocational training and empowerment.

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He noted that there are many genuine complaints at his office of some delegate names being shortchanged, some have trained but not empowered while others have not been trained.

According to him, there are many genuine complaints at his office about some delegate names being shortchanged; some trained but not empowered, while others have not been trained.

READ ALSO: [BREAKING]Yahoo Boy: Abuja Mechanic Village On Fire As Soldier Stabs Mechanic To Death

Otuaro, while thanking the first phase generals for their patience with the programme in the areas of education and vocational training, solicited for their further cooperation, saying he can only succeed in office if stakeholders are behind him.

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Highlight of the meeting was an interactive session where ex-agitators shared their pains with the Special Adviser and profer possible solution to benefit the thirty thousand Amnesty delegates captured in the program.

Some of the notable ex-agitators and stakeholders that attended the meeting include: Gen. Pastor Wilson Reuben; Gen. Andabofa Opunama; Gen. Benjamin Ekeremor; Gen. Adowei Binaebi; Chief Boro Opudu; Chief Simeon Bebenimibo; Godfrey Tare Pondi; Gen. Henry Benidogha alias Egbema 1; Gen. Aboy Muturu;

Others are Gen. Arony Oputu; Gen. Omotonwerigha; Gen. Tallest; Chief Frank Akiefa; Deputy National National President,, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Comrade Freedom Atigbi; Spokesperson, IYC, Comrade Princewil Binebai; Bob Collins Igetei, Speaker, lYC Mobile Parliament, Comrade Nicholas lgarama, Chairman lYC Western zone among many others.

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Phone On Speaker Mode, 5 Other Things You Should Never Do On An Airplane

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Air travel is surely a fun and convenient means of getting to your destinations, but it also requires a level of consideration and respect not just for yourself but for other passengers as well as the flight crew.

In order to ensure a smooth and pleasant flight experience for everyone on board, it’s important to take note of certain behaviors that should be avoided while on board.

In this article are six things to avoid doing on an airplane to help you be a courteous and mindful traveler with the safety of everyone at heart.

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READ ALSO: FG Eyes $4.4bn New Loans As Debt Hits N101tn

What to avoid doing on an airplane

Not turning off cell phones or using airplane mode

It’s essential to switch off mobile phones and other electronic devices or better still put them on airplane mode during the flight. This ensures there is no interference with the aircrafts communication and navigation systems.

Opening of doors mid flight

As a passenger on a flight, you have no business with opening the doors while on air or even while the plane has landed. This is for your safety as well as the others on board even if its a case of emergency that’s what the cabin crew are to handle.

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Removing shoes and socks

As comfortable as it may be, removing shoes, especially socks can be off-putting or really uncomfortable to other passengers due to smell or hygiene concerns.

READ ALSO: 22-year-old UNIBEN Graduate Beaten, Raped To Death, Family Seeks Justice

Sitting all through the flight

Staying seated all through an entire flight is really not advisable, it leads to discomfort. It’s important to get up, stretch, move around periodically especially on long flights to ensure smooth blood circulation.

Ignoring seatbelt signs

Ignoring the seatbelt sign can be dangerous.always adhere to the signs and instruction from the flight attendants for your own safety.

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Being Loud or Disruptive

Keeping noise levels down is crucial, especially on long flights where passengers might be trying to rest. Avoid loud conversations, music, or movies.

Traveling by airplane requires a bit of patience and courtesy to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone on board. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can contribute to a more enjoyable flight for yourself and your fellow passengers. Remember, a little consideration goes a long way in making air travel a smoother and more pleasant experience for all.

Source: VANGUARD

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