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Nigerian leader fires all military commanders

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 16, 2014 at 8:34 a.m.

LAGOS, Nigeria — In a major shakeup of the high command of Nigeria's military which is battling Islamic insurgents, President Goodluck Jonathan fired all his service chiefs Thursday and appointed an air force officer from the troubled northeast as the top military commander.

Officials in neighboring Cameroon, meanwhile, said Nigerian jets dropped bombs that exploded around a Cameroonian border post Wednesday, as Cameroonian forces were pulled into fighting between Nigerian troops and Islamic extremists. At least one woman on Cameroonian soil was killed by stray bullets and five other civilians were wounded, said Col. Francis Tatang, a military police commander in northern Cameroon.

Air Marshal Alex S. Badeh, 57, has the top job as chief of defense staff and services, with immediate effect, according to a statement from presidential adviser Reuben Abati. Badeh had been chief of air services since 2012. He replaces Adm. Ola Sa'ad Ibrahim, who had headed the military since 2012.

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah is the new chief of army staff. Rear Adm. Usman O. Jibrin takes over the navy and the new chief of air staff is Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu.

Abati confirmed that the old commander and army and navy service chiefs have been fired. Several other senior army officers got new assignments last month.

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