Thursday, November 19, 2015

49 dead within 24 hours of multiple Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria

Multiple attacks less than 24 hours apart left at least 49 dead in Nigeria on Wednesday, a day after Boko Haram was named the world's deadliest terror group.

At least 15 were killed and more than 100 wounded Wednesday in the northern town of Kano after two suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a busy market. Those attacks came less than a day after 34 people were killed and 80 wounded in an explosion at a market in the northeastern city of Yola late Tuesday.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the incidents bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which is attempting to create an Islamic caliphate, or state, in Nigeria. The group pledged allegiance to the Islamic State earlier this year.

The attacks broke a three-week hiatus in bombings after a series of suicide attacks culminated in twin blasts in mosques in two northeastern cities on Oct. 23, leaving 42 dead and wounding more than 100.

The Global Terrorism Index said Boko Haram was responsible for 6,644 deaths in 2014, a one-year increase of 317%. The Nigerian terror group overtook the Islamic State, which was responsible for the deaths of 6,073 people, according to the report published Tuesday by the Global Peace Institute.

Overall, Boko Haram's 6-year terror campaign has left more than 20,000 dead and forced another 2.3 million to flee.

Nigeria has experienced the largest increase in terror deaths ever recorded by a single nation, the study added. The nation is facing another insurgency by Fulani militants who killed 1,229 last year.

On Wednesday, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the arrest of a former government official and others accused of stealing over $2 billion intended to fund the fight against Boko Haram. Sambo Dasuki, the national security adviser to the previous president Goodluck Jonathan, is accused of awarding fictitious contracts to buy four fighter jets, 12 helicopters and ammunition.

Buhari said if the funds had been properly used, "thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided." Dasuki, a retired army colonel, denied the accusations.

acebook activated "Safety Check" following Tuesday's blast in Nigeria, marking just the second time the feature was used after a terror attack. It was first used in the wake of Friday's assaults on the French capital, which left 129 people dead.

However, some users claimed the use of the tool in the wake of the Paris attacks made it seem like those killed in acts of terrorism in other parts of the world — like those a day earlier in Beirut, where more than 43 were killed — didn't matter as much.

​"After the Paris attacks last week, we made the decision to use Safety Check for more tragic events like this going forward. We're now working quickly to develop criteria for the new policy and determine when and how this service can be most useful," CEOMark Zuckerberg said in a post late Tuesday on his Facebook page.

Previously, Safety Check had only been activated in cases of natural disasters. The tool allows people to inform their friends they are safe and check the status of others.

"Unfortunately, these kinds of events are all too common, so I won't post about all of them. A loss of human life anywhere is a tragedy, and we're committed to doing our part to help people in more of these situations."


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