Dead Bodies Litter Baga After Boko Haram Attack

Dead Bodies Litter Baga After Boko Haram Attack

Nine days after members of the Islamists group, Boko Haram attacked Baga town in Borno State, latest reports inform that dead bodies still litter bushes in the town.

According to a report published online by CNN today, January 12, 2015, bodies still littered bushes in Baga town after attackers sped into the Nigerian town with grenade launchers nine days ago.

It was disclosed that on January 3, 2015, terrified residents of Baga town were forced to run into bushes in the town and surrounding villages when Boko Haram gunmen unloaded motorcycles from their trucks and chased after them.

It was gathered that some residents who hid under scant brush were pierced by bullets, others who sought refuge in their homes were burned alive.

Also, many who tried to cross into neighboring Chad drowned while trying to swim through Lake Chad.

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By the time the weapons went quiet, local officials reported death tolls ranging from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people.

Speaking on the tragic development nine days after, Musa Bukar, the chairman of the local government where Baga is located, said: "It is still no‎t safe to go and pick them up for burial."

No emergency crews will enter the villages where militants are still running amok, local authorities said.

"Baga is not accessible because it is still occupied by Boko Haram," said Sen. Maina Ma'aji Lawan of northern Borno state.

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

The Islamist group has said its aim is to impose a stricter form of Sharia law across Nigeria, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.

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The sect has kidnapped students, including more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted inside their school in Chibok, Borno State in April.

On Saturday, explosives strapped to a girl detonated at a crowded marketplace in Nigeria, killing at least 20 people. Although no one has claimed responsibility, Boko Haram militants are the main suspects.

The attacks started at dawn on January 3 and continued throughout the weekend, according to residents.

Amnesty International called the massacre Boko Haram's "deadliest act."

"If reports that the town was largely razed to the ground and that hundreds or even as many as 2,000 civilians were killed are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram's ongoing onslaught," said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.

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The Nigerian military said the description of the attack as "the deadliest" was "quite valid."

"The attack on the town by the bloodhounds and their activities since January 3 should convince well meaning people all over the world that Boko Haram is the evil all must collaborate to end," it said.

Those who survived the attack and tried to swim to Chad are now stranded on Kangala island on Lake Chad.

Abubakar Gamandi, a native of Baga who was away during the attack, said those trapped there are dying.

"‎I have been in touch with them on the phone," he said. "They told me ‎some of them are dying from lack of food, cold and malaria on the mosquito-infested island."

Of the 30,000 displaced during the attacks, 20,000 camped in Maiduguri city. An additional 10,000 were being ferried from Monguno town, which is about 60 kilometers (36 miles) from Baga.

Meanwhile, Mike Omeri, a national security spokesman, said Nigerian troops are pursuing the militants. ‎

"Security forces have responded rapidly and have deployed significant military assets and conducted airstrikes against militant targets," Omeri said. "Troops are engaged in operations to reclaim the area from the terrorists."

But Gamandi, the Baga native, said it's not true.

"From information we are receiving from residents nearby, not a single Nigerian soldier has shown up in Baga since it was seized by Boko Haram," he said. "It is all propaganda."

Critics have accused President Goodluck Jonathan's government of not doing enough to address the insurgency, which mostly affects opposition strongholds.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has promised to assist the Nigerian Government and all affected neighbouring states in bringing an end to insurgency and violence.

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, gave the assurance in a statement issued on Monday in New York by UN spokesman, Stephane DuJarric.

In the statement, Ban was quoted as saying that UN would assist to alleviate the suffering of civilians with all available means and resources.

He condemned the killing of hundreds of civilians by the insurgents around the town of Baga, Borno, near Nigeria’s border with Chad, in the past week.

The situation in Nigeria and the region, Ban said, remained at the top of his agenda.

“Only yesterday, it was reported that a 10-year old girl was used to detonate a bomb at a market in Maiduguri, killing no fewer than 19 people,” he said.

The Secretary-General condemned this depraved act at the hands of Boko Haram terrorists.


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