Friday, July 3, 2015

Boko Haram kill 150 in Nigeria

Nearly 150 people are reported to have been killed by suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants in attacks in Nigeria's north-eastern Borno state.

Eyewitnesses say the gunmen stormed the village of Kukawa near Lake Chad on Wednesday evening, killing 97 people, including women and children.

On Tuesday, the militants shot dead 48 men after they had finished prayers in two villages near the town of Monguno, a resident told the BBC.

The women are said to have been spared.

Monguno was recently recaptured from Boko Haram.

At least 23 people died in the town last month after a confiscated Boko Haram bomb exploded during celebrations to mark the successful military operation against the Islamist group.

According to Amnesty International, at least 17,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 2009, when Boko Haram launched its violent uprising to try to impose militant Islamist rule.
'They spared nobody'

More than 50 militants stormed Kukawa on Wednesday, eyewitness Babami Alhaji Kolo was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

"The terrorists first descended on Muslim worshippers in various mosques who were observing the Maghrib prayer shortly after breaking their fast," he said.

As a minute's silence is held to remember the 38 people killed in Tunisia one week ago, Nigerians woke up to a different kind of silence following the reported killing of close to 150 people in Borno State. Official silence. Nothing from the military and nothing from the government, whilst the state-owned TV station led its morning news bulletin with a report on a diplomatic appointment.

No-one knows how many people were shot or had their throats slit by the jihadists who targeted several villages on Tuesday and Wednesday - it is impossible for people who are fleeing for their lives or rushing the injured away in wheelbarrows to stay back and count.

The fact that it took as many as 48 hours for any news of the atrocities to reach the main city in Borno State, Maiduguri, points to just how cut off and vulnerable these communities are.

Boko Haram may no longer hold territory but there is little to celebrate when large swathes of the north-east are clearly not under any kind of government control.

"They... opened fire on the worshippers who were mostly men and young children.

"They spared nobody. In fact, while some of the terrorists waited and set most of the corpses on fire, others proceeded to houses and shot indiscriminately at women who were preparing food," he said.

A resident of Monguno told BBC Hausa he had heard gun shots at one of the two villages attacked on Tuesday and saw it on fire.

"They were praying in the mosque when Boko Haram attackers descended on the village. They waited till they finished the prayers. They gathered them in one place, separated men from women and opened fire on them," he said.

"Many died, some escaped. They then set the village on fire. I saw five victims with bullet wounds who managed to escape. They were brought to [Monguno] on wheelbarrows, before they were transferred to vehicles that took them to hospitals."

The politician representing the area, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, said jihadist fighters who had recently been flushed out of their stronghold in the Sambisa forest had settled in these villages close to Lake Chad.

He said that before the attack, he had notified the military of the jihadists' presence, warning that the villages were not safe.

These are the worst Boko Haram attacks for many weeks, BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross reports.

The group has carried out frequent bombings since it was weakened by a regional military offensive to recapture most of the territory it had controlled.

Nigeria's new President Muhammadu Buhari says his main priority is improving the regional effort to defeat Boko Haram.

The group is still holding many women, girls and children captive, including 219 schoolgirls it kidnapped from a school in Chibok in April last year.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Outbreack of Cholera in Nigeria kills 15

At least 15 people, mostly children, have been killed by a cholera outbreak in Nigeria's north central Plateau state, according to a lawmaker.

"It is true that as of Monday, around 15 people have died from a new cholera outbreak in Langtang," Godfrey Lamdip, a lawmaker from the area, told Anadolu Agency over the phone on Wednesday afternoon.

"I have brought this issue to the attention of my colleagues and we have liaised with the state government to intervene to address the outbreak," Lamdip said.

The lawmaker added that a government delegation has visited Kantam and Filam, the two villages affected by the outbreak.

"Many people have now been admitted for treatment so we are on top of the situation," he said.

Joseph Wuyep, a resident of Kantam, said at least nine people had been killed in the village since the outbreak started two weeks ago.

"The problem is the water. We drink polluted water. We do not have good water and we have called on the government to help us. We drink from the stream which is polluted by animals, among other things," Wuyep, a school teacher, told Anadolu Agency.

"Six of the nine victims are children who died after protracted defecation and vomiting," he said.

Cholera outbreaks are very common in remote parts of Nigeria, where safe drinkable water is hard to come by and many residents make do with water from rivers which are often polluted by grazing cattle.

Most locals also wash their clothes in the same streams from which they drink.

Experts say poverty and poor hygiene are the most prominent causes of the repeated outbreaks, especially in the north and some parts of the south.

Dozens were killed in a number of cholera outbreaks in many parts of the northern and southeast regions last year.

World Bulletin

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Video - Interview with Boko Haram victim forced to marry or be killed

When “Miriam” was kidnapped by Boko Haram she was told she had the choice of marrying a member of the militant group’s fighters or being killed. She was repeatedly raped by the man she was forced to marry. But after she became pregnant she managed to escape. Miriam is one of more than 2000 women and girls have been abducted in North East Nigeria by the militant group Boko Haram since the start of 2014.

Video - rise in female suicide bombers in Nigeria

Nigerian authorities in the country are in a dilemma over how to deal with Boko Haram's use of young, naive girls in their suicide bombing campaigns. Analysts say the huge number of uneducated girls from impoverished families in the north has made them vulnerable to manipulation by Boko Haram. The Government now faces the challenging task of reversing this trend.

Arrest made in the kidnap of school girls in Nigeria

Nigerian troops have arrested a businessman accused of "participating actively" in Boko Haram's mass abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls from the northeastern town of Chibok last year, Nigeria's Defence Ministry said Tuesday.

Spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said Babuji Ya'ari headed a "terrorists' intelligence cell" for the Islamic extremists while masquerading as a member of the self-defence Youth Vigilante Group. That confirms suspicions that the vigilantes have been infiltrated by Boko Haram. Soldiers have told the AP that some of their comrades also belong to Nigeria's homegrown Islamic extremist group.

"The arrest of the businessman ... has also yielded some vital information and facilitated the arrest of other members of the terrorists' intelligence cell who are women," Olukolade said in a statement Tuesday night. He did not say when the arrests were made or how many people were arrested.

He alleged that Ya'ari has since 2011 co-ordinated several deadly attacks on the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, and spearheaded the May 2014 assassination of the emir of Gwoza, a religious and traditional ruler who was targeted for speaking out against Boko Haram's extremism.

One arrested woman, Hafsat Bako, confessed to co-ordinating the payroll for operatives paid a minimum of 10,000 naira (about $50) a job, the defence ministry statement said.

Boko Haram was responsible for the April 2014 kidnapping of 273 girls from a boarding school in Chibok. Dozens escaped but 219 schoolgirls remain missing. The mass abduction sparked international outrage and demands for the girls' release under the Twitter hashtag .BringBackOurGirls.

The extremists last year took control of a large swath of northeastern Nigeria where they declared an Islamic caliphate. This year, they became the West African franchise of the Islamic State group.

As their attacks spread across borders, a multinational army from Nigeria and neighbouring countries mobilized and this year drove Boko Haram out of towns. Suicide bomb and attacks on villages continue.


Related story: Video - Aljazeera speaks with the few schoolgirls that escaped from Boko Haram