Villagers are massacred while troops battle Boko Haram in Maiduguri

2015-01-26 06:35

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

In fierce fighting yesterday that killed more than 200 combatants, Nigerian troops clashed with Islamic extremists who attacked Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeastern Nigeria, from three fronts.

At the same time the insurgents continued scorched-earth attacks on villages about 200km to the south in Adamawa state, slitting throats of residents, looting and burning homes and abducting dozens of trapped women and children, according to Vandu Kainu and other escaping survivors.

Adamawa state legislator Adamu Kamale appealed for troops to protect civilians in Michika, where six villages are under attack.

“The attacks have continued since Friday with no presence of security operatives,” he complained.

The multiple attacks come as United States Secretary of State John Kerry visited Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital about 1 500km southwest of Maiduguri, to encourage peaceful elections on February 14 in Africa’s most populous country.

“This will be the largest democratic election on the continent,” Kerry said.

“Given the stakes, it’s absolutely critical that these elections be conducted peacefully – that they are credible, transparent and accountable.”

Kerry met with President Goodluck Jonathan and his chief rival candidate, former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari. Kerry told reporters that he won pledges from both to refrain from violence.

He also issued a warning: Anyone responsible for inciting post-election mayhem will be barred entry to the United States, where millions of Nigerians live.

Kerry promised more US support in the fight against Boko Haram if the elections take place peacefully and democratically.

More than 800 people were killed in northern protests after Buhari, a Muslim northerner, lost 2011 elections to Jonathan, a Christian from the south.

Boko Haram has denounced democracy and wants to make an Islamic state of Nigeria, whose population of about 170 million is divided almost equally between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.

In Maiduguri, troops blocked roads into the city, which also prevented civilians from escaping.

Defence ministry spokesperson Brigadier General Chris Olukolade said last night that troops successfully repelled attacks on Maiduguri and Konduga, 40km to the southeast.

But he said they were mounting air raids in Monduno, a town 140km northeast of Maiduguri, which Boko Haram seized yesterday morning.

More than 200 combatants died yesterday, mainly insurgents, according to soldiers and civilian self-defence fighters who counted bodies. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to speak to reporters.

President Jonathan made a surprise visit to Maiduguri 10 days ago and pledged to crush the insurgents. But his repeated promises are ringing hollow as Boko Haram since August has seized and kept control of large swaths of the northeast, including key border crossings into Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

With encouragement from the United Nations, Nigeria and its neighbours are setting up a multinational force to fight the extremists who recently have increased cross-border raids into Cameroon.

But there is distrust of Nigeria’s military, which many believe is infiltrated by Boko Haram at the highest levels.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.