Boko Haram slaughters hundreds in Nigeria

2014-06-05 13:34
Boko Haram Islamists leader Abubakar Shekau. (File AFP

Boko Haram Islamists leader Abubakar Shekau. (File AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Boko Haram is not a new problem in Nigeria - expert

2014-05-30 13:44

Nigeria expert Lisa Otto says Boko Haram isn't a new problem in the area. She gives us an overview of their activity and ideals. Watch.WATCH

Maiduguri - Boko Haram militants dressed as soldiers slaughtered at least 200 civilians in three villages in northeastern Nigeria and the military failed to intervene even though it was warned that an attack was imminent, witnesses said on Thursday.

A community leader who witnessed the killings on Monday said residents of the Gwoza local government district in Borno state had pleaded for the military to send soldiers to protect the area after they heard that militants were about to attack, but help didn't arrive. The killings occurred in Danjara, Agapalwa, and Antagara.

"We all thought they were the soldiers that we earlier reported to that the insurgents might attack us," said a community leader who escaped the massacre and fled to Maiduguri, Borno state capital.

The militants arrived in Toyota Hilux pickup trucks — commonly used by the military — and told the civilians they were soldiers "and we are here to protect you all", the same tactic used by the group when they kidnapped more than 300 girls from a school in the town of Chibok on 14 April.

After people gathered in the centre on the orders of the militants, "they begin to shout 'Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar' on top of their voices, then they begin to fire at the people continuously for a very long time until all that gathered were all dead", said the witness who didn't want to be named for fear for his safety.

State of emergency

The slaughter was confirmed by both Mohammed Ali Ndume, a senator representing Borno and whose hometown is Gwoza, and by a top security official in Maiduguri who insisted on anonymity because he isn't allowed to speak to the media.

It took a few days for survivors to get word of the massacres to Maiduguri, the provincial capital, because travel on the roads is extremely dangerous and phone connections are poor or nonexistent.

The community leader wasn't shot because "I was going round to inform people that the soldiers had come and they wanted to address us", he said. As people were fleeing, other gunmen lurked outside the villages on motorcycles and mowed them down, he said.

Militants of Boko Haram, which wants to establish Islamic state in Nigeria, have been taking over villages in the northeast, killing and terrorising civilians and political leaders as the Islamic fighters make a comeback from a year-long military offensive aimed at crushing them.

The death toll from Monday's attacks is among the highest. Thousands of people have been killed in the five-year-old insurgency, more than 2 000 so far just this year, and an estimated 750 000 Nigerians have been driven from their homes.

Nigeria's military has insisted that the big influx of troops and a year-old state of emergency in three states which gives them the power to detain suspects, take over buildings and lock down any area has the extremists on the run.

Incessant attacks

But while Boko Haram has in large part been pushed out of cities in the northeast, they have been seizing villages with thatched-roof huts in the semi-arid region where they once held sway, boldly staking their claim by hoisting their black flags with white Arabic lettering, and making large swaths of Nigeria no-go regions for the military.

The villages attacked on Monday are in the Gwoza local government, a regional political center whose emir was killed in a Boko Haram ambush on his convoy last week. Emirs are religious and traditional rulers who have been targeted for speaking out against Boko Haram's extremism.

Borno Gov. Kashim Shettima traveled on Saturday to Gwoza to pay his respects to the fallen emir and was quoted as saying it was a terrifying ride.

"If I say I was not petrified travelling through that ... road to Gwoza I would be lying because that road had been designated a no-go area for about two months now due to the incessant attacks and killings that occur there," the governor was quoted as saying by Information Nigeria, a web site.

 A local journalist who was in the convoy that was escorted by 150 soldiers counted at least 16 towns and villages that were deserted along the 135km route, according to the local media report.
- AP
Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  nigeria kidnappings  |  abductions
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
93 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.