Tag Archives: Boko Haram

Officials: Boko Haram kidnaps 185, kills 32

A campaigner from “Bring Back Our Girls” shouts slogans during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria, calling for the release of the Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted last April by Boko Haram militants

A campaigner from “Bring Back Our Girls” shouts slogans during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria, calling for the release of the Chibok schoolgirls who were abducted last April by Boko Haram militants

Kano, Nigeria (CNN) — Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped at least 185 women and children, and killed 32 people in a raid in northeastern Nigeria this week, local officials and residents said.

Gunmen in pickup trucks attacked the village of Gumsuri, just north of Chibok, on Sunday, shooting down men before herding women and children together.

“They gathered the women and children and took them away in trucks after burning most of the village with petrol bombs,” a local government official said on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

News of the attack took four days to emerge because of a lack of communication. Telecommunications towers in the region had been disabled in previous attacks.

Local officials learned of the attack from residents who fled to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, where the officials had moved a year ago to escape Boko Haram attacks.

The militants stormed the village from two directions, overwhelming local vigilantes who had repelled Boko Haram attacks over the course of the year, said Gumsuri resident Umar Ari, who trekked for four days to Maiduguri.

‎”They destroyed almost half the village and took away 185 women, girls and boys,” Ari said.‎

Resident Modu Kalli said the militants fired heavy machine guns on the village and poured canisters of gasoline on houses before setting them on fire.

“We lost everything in the attack. I escaped with nothing, save the clothes I have on me,” Kalli said.

Hundreds of residents of Gumsuri continue to arrive in Maiduguri, which has been struggling to accommodate thousands of residents fleeing towns and villages overrun by Boko Haram.

Cameroon: At least 116 Boko Haram fighters killed

Meanwhile, the Cameroon military says that it killed at least 116 Boko Haram fighters during a fight in northern Cameroon on Wednesday, near the border with northeastern Nigeria.

The incident began when the militant group tried to attack the Cameroonian town of Amchide, military spokesman Lt. Col. Didier Badjeck said.

One Cameroonian soldier was killed, and another was missing after the attack, according to a statement released by Badjeck. Boko Haram destroyed two trucks and stole a third, Badjeck said.

Badjeck said the military believes its artillery also inflicted unspecified damage to Boko Haram on the Nigerian side of the border during the fight.

“Our defense forces rigorously fought back this barbaric attack, and forced the enemy to retreat,” Cameroonian government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said.

“This terrorist group has only one objective: to spread fear and uncertainty amongst our population. But I can assure you that they will be defeated,” Bakary said.

Two months ago, the nearby area of Limani, Cameroon, was the site of a deadly clash between Boko Haram and Cameroonian forces. Eight Cameroonian soldiers and 107 Boko Haram fighters were killed during an attack by the militants that month, Cameroon state-run broadcaster CRTV reported, citing the Cameroonian defense ministry.

Campaign of violence

Boko Haram has terrorized northern Nigeria regularly since 2009, attacking police, schools, churches and civilians, and bombing government buildings.

This month, at least one female Boko Haram suicide bomber killed five people in Maiduguri. Last month, suicide bombings killed nearly 180 people. More than half of the victims died in an attack on a mosque that many suspect Boko Haram was behind.

The group has targeted mainstream Islam, saying that it does not represent the interests of Nigeria’s 80 million Muslims and that it perverts Islam.

In April, Boko Haram militants drew international condemnation when they kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls, many of whom they later said they sold into slavery.

At least 5,000 people have died at Boko Haram’s hands, according to a U.S. Congressional Research Service report, making it one of the world’s deadliest terrorist organizations.

US flying manned intelligence missions over Nigeria in missing girls search, official says

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The U.S. military is flying manned missions over Nigeria in hopes of locating the hundreds of schoolgirls who were kidnapped by an Islamist extremist group last month, a senior official tells Fox News.

The official said the manned missions are intelligence and surveillance missions. At a press briefing Monday White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the U.S. had experts in a variety of areas, including reconnaissance and surveillance, working on the case of the missing girls. However he said he did not have a “catalog” of the specific resources the experts were using.

“They are actively involved in working with the Nigerian government to provide the advice and the expertise that they can provide to assist in that effort,” Carney said.

The information comes as a new video, believed to be from Boko Haram, the group behind the kidnappings, surfaced Monday showing more than 100 of the kidnapped Christian schoolgirls praying to Allah.

The video also features the Islamic terror group’s leader – who was reportedly negotiating with the government – saying he will hold the girls until imprisoned militants are freed.

When asked about the option of trading the girls for imprisoned militants, U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Monday, that is up to Nigeria.

“As you know, Nigeria is in the lead. We are simply supporting their efforts. As you know also the United States’ policy is to deny kidnappers the benefits of their criminal acts including ransoms or concessions,” Psaki said at a press briefing.

The video is the first sighting of the abducted girls since more than 300 were taken April 14 from their school in the northern town of Chibok by Islamist militants. Although more than 50 girls escaped their captors and are now safe, at least 276 remain missing.

The search so far has centered on the Sambisa forest, with Nigerian troops being aided by advisers from the U.S., Britain and France.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren clarified the U.S. presence in Nigeria for reporters Monday, saying there are more than 50 U.S. military personnel and advisors based at the Nigerian Embassy to help “advise and assist” in the search for the missing girls. The teams have expertise in “communications, logistics, civil affairs, and intelligence,” Warren said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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