THE INDEX — May 14, 2010

Nigeria’s former Governor was released on bail yesterday after being arrested in Dubai earlier this week on corruption charges. Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency accused James Ibori, who was the governor of oil-rich Delta State for eight years, of stealing more than $290 million (44 billion naira) from state funds while in office. A spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), told reporters that Ibori was indentified by Interpol and seized in Dubai where he remains on a UK warrant. Ibori was first sought last month for questioning about funds that had been embezzled while he served as governor from 1999 to 2007, but an armed mob in Ibori’s hometown prevented Nigerian police from arresting him. He quickly fled the country. Ibori has been a behind-the-scenes powerbroker since leaving office and bankedrolled the 2007 election campaign of the late president, Umaru Yar’Adua, who died last week from heart and kidney ailments. The former governor is due to appear in court and both Nigerian and UK authorities are seeking extradition. Nigeria, the world’s eighth largest exporter of oil and twelfth largest oil producer, is notorious for its corrupt government which is dependent on oil revenues. Last December, Ibori was acquitted of 170 counts of corruption by a high court in Nigeria’s state capital, In 2007, a London court froze $35 million worth of his assets, as he was suspected of corruption.

At least ten Afghans were killed in a midnight raid Thursday night by U.S. troops near Jalalabad, near the eastern province of Nangarhar, prompting a violent protest by friends and family of the dead. A spokesperson from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said while American Special Operations troops and Afghan Special Forces were sweeping a compound for Taliban operatives, a firefight broke out when the alleged insurgent refused to leave a house when ordered by both Afghan and NATO troops. A spokesman for the military told The New York Times that only insurgents were killed, including a Taliban subcommander named Qari Shamshudin. The identity of those killed is being hotly contested, however, as friends and family of the dead insist they were just civilians, not insurgents. Angry protestors gathered near Jalalabad, the provincial capital, where they burned American flags and shouted “Death to America” and “Long Live the Taliban.” Police killed one protester and wounded two when they fired into the crowd that threatened to overrun police and government buildings from. Though America commander Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal earlier made an effort to limit night raids to reduce civilian deaths and injuries, this was the second deadly raid near Jalalabad in two weeks.

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