World News

187 Reported Dead in Northern Nigeria Fighting

Dozens of people have been killed in northern Nigeria during fierce fighting between Islamist militants and government security forces.

The Nigerian Red Cross Monday said at least 187 people died in the fighting, while another 77 were being treated for injuries.

However, one Borno state military spokesman has said reports of such death tolls are inflated.

The gunbattles began Friday in the remote fishing village of Baga, forcing thousands of residents to flee the area.

Locals say the clashes began when troops surrounded a mosque that allegedly was sheltering members of the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram.

A shootout ensued, with militants using heavy weaponry, including rocket-propelled grenades. Soldiers and local officials say the militants used civilians as human shields, while residents say soldiers deliberately set fires during the attack.



A U.S. State Department spokesman said Monday the Untied States supports the efforts of Nigerian authorities to bring the perpetrators of violence to justice, but he said they must do so while respecting human rights and protecting civilians.

The spokesman also urged Nigeria's government to address what he called "legitimate grievances" in Nigeria's north, saying if they are not addressed, then militants groups will exploit those grievances for their own purposes.



"Our response is that violent extremism requires more than just a security response. So Boko Haram exploits legitimate northern grievances to attract recruits and public sympathy. So the response should be to address some of those legitimate needs and concerns of the people in the north so that is not being exploited by this group who clearly has perpetrated some very awful violence."



Friday's battle lasted for several hours, but news of the attack did not reach the Nigerian capital until Sunday.

Authorities blame Boko Haram for dozens of deadly bombings and shootings in northern Nigeria since 2009. Human Rights Watch says the Boko Haram-related violence has killed 3,000 people, a toll that includes killings by security forces.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs