Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram
The killings in France are tragic but it’s 16 people as compared with 2,000 in Nigeria but we haven’t been hearing much about Nigeria these past few days. Why aren’t people marching in the streets for the sake of those slaughtered in Nigeria?
Boko Haram has massacred as many as 2,000 women, children and elderly in NE Nigeria.
“They came through the north, the west and from the southern part of the town because the eastern part is only water,” one resident told the BBC. “So, when we [went] toward the western part, we saw heavily armed Boko Haram men coming toward us.” At the sight of the incoming insurgents, the soldiers put up a scant fight before abandoning their base and leaving residents defenseless.
Hundreds, possibly 2,000 Nigerians in 16 villages have been slaughtered by Boko Haram in the deadliest massacre yet. Most of the victims were children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.
Another 30,000 or so were displaced.
If reports are true, “this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught,” said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.
Mike Omeri, the government spokesman on the insurgency, said fighting continued Friday for Baga, a town on the border with Chad where insurgents seized a key military base on Jan. 3 and attacked again on Wednesday.
“Security forces have responded rapidly, and have deployed significant military assets and conducted airstrikes against militant targets,” Omeri said in a statement.
Over 1.5 million people have been displaced and won’t be able to vote in the elections five weeks from today.
Suleiman Dauda, 12, said he ran into the bushes with neighbours when extremists attacked his village, Askira Uba, near Yola last year.
“I saw them kill my father, they slaughtered him like a ram. And up until now I don’t know where my mother is,” he told the Associated Press at Daware refugee camp in Yola.
“Dead bodies litter the bushes in the area and it is still not safe to go and pick them (up) for burial,” said Musa Bukar, the chairman of the local government where Baga is located.
“Some people who hid in their homes were burned alive.”
According to the U.S. counterterrorism official, Boko Haram militants went door-to-door killing families, then strategically placed improvised explosive devices in the streets to funnel survivors into areas where firing squads were pre-positioned. “They were mowed down” by automatic weapons fire, the official said.
The villages were then set on fire, and militants moved on to other areas to repeat the process, officials told the BBC.
Boko Haram has terrorized Nigerians since 2009 and at least 10,000 have been murdered. They plan to put a strict form of Sharia law in place and Christians are their main target. They have already declared a caliphate in territory 100 miles south of Baga.
Boko Haram now controls all the border crossings in the area between Nigeria and its neighbors, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. They are calling for attacks on Cameroon which is also run by a Christian government.