News / Africa

Nigeria Bloodshed Intensifies in Weekend Attacks

Nigeria Struggles With Surging Boko Haram Violencei
X
March 03, 2014 11:17 PM
A string of violent attacks being blamed on Boko Haram militants in Nigeria has security analysts worried the group is growing stronger. While the Nigerian government says it’s handling the situation as well as it can, others say the group is a big threat to the oil-rich nation and worry it may spill over into neighboring countries. But as Mariama Diallo reports, there may be little the international community can do to help.
Related video report by Mariama Diallo, "Nigeria Struggles With Surging Boko Haram Violence"
Heather Murdock
Conflict in northeast Nigeria appears to be escalating with nearly 100 people killed and three abducted in separate attacks over the weekend.
 
Two vehicles exploded Saturday in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, not far from a movie theater and a wedding reception. Aid workers say among the dozens of bodies were many children.
 
About 60 kilometers away, residents of a farming village were rounded up, and scores were shot dead while their houses were burned.
 
At the scene of the blasts, Hassan Ali, a leader in a civilian security force called the “Civilian JTF,” is part of the rescue team that is still searching for corpses among the rubble.  
 
He says, “The flame went up.  Everybody started running. Some people in around the area start coming to rescue.”
 
A day after a double bombing in northern Nigeria killed dozens of people, men search the rubble for bodies in Maidguri, March 2, 2014. (Abdulkareem Haruna/VOA)A day after a double bombing in northern Nigeria killed dozens of people, men search the rubble for bodies in Maidguri, March 2, 2014. (Abdulkareem Haruna/VOA)
x
A day after a double bombing in northern Nigeria killed dozens of people, men search the rubble for bodies in Maidguri, March 2, 2014. (Abdulkareem Haruna/VOA)
A day after a double bombing in northern Nigeria killed dozens of people, men search the rubble for bodies in Maidguri, March 2, 2014. (Abdulkareem Haruna/VOA)
Maiduguri is the capital of Borno State and the original home of Boko Haram, an Islamist militia that has killed thousands of people in four-and-a-half years of insurgency.  Borno is one of three northeastern states that have been under emergency rule for more than nine months.  
 
Other northern states have been targeted by suspected Boko Haram members, including Bauchi, where three polio vaccinators were kidnapped over the weekend.
 
The Nigerian military says air and ground assaults continue across the emergency zones and suspects in the bombings have been arrested. Both soldiers and  terrorists have been killed in recent battles.

But Ali says civilians are often left to fend for themselves. “We have vast area here behind that is not covered by security and we have been bothering on that issue," he said. "Even our Civilian JTF who are here, they have been reporting this incident to the policemen and even the S.S. [State Security]. The security arrangement we are not happy with.”  

At an international security conference last week in Abuja, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan reached out to the families of victims of other recent attacks, including a raid on a high school where nearly 60 students were killed.
 
“These gruesome and mindless acts of savagery is not Nigerian," he said. "It is not African.  Let me assure Nigerians that we will spare no resource in bringing those murderers to justice.”
 
But with nearly a quarter of Nigeria’s national budget reserved for security, some northerners say financial resources are not lacking, but a better strategy or political will is needed.
 
Yusuf Arrigasiyyu. chairman of the Muslim Civil Society of Nigeria in the northern states, says, “We feel this was done because the government at the national level did not show serious concern.  Because they are in control of the army, the air force and even the Nigerian police.”
 
Arrigassiyyu says Boko Haram attacks villages and schools with machine guns and bombs from the back of trucks. If Nigerians could figure out where they get the money for all that equipment, he says, they could stop the insurgency.
 
Abdulkareem Haruna contributed to this report from Maiduguri, Ibrahim Yakubu contributed to this report from Kaduna, Ardo Hazzad contributed to this report from Bauchi.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mayom Makuei Biar from: Juba South Sudan
March 04, 2014 9:35 AM
what is wrong with Muslem In Africa yesterday was Somalia El Shabab and now another gruond call Buko Aram is threatening Nageria I think this gruops need to be collectivily deal with by African leaders if africa is to get peace

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 04, 2014 7:40 AM
When the Nigerian officials lie to the media, they think that everybody is daft like them and will accept and swallow all the lies just like that. The new chief of defense staff told us just last week that boko haram has been pushed out of the main land territories and are now operating pockets of attacks from very small areas around the border with Cameroon, saying that was why the border was closed. If that were true, why have the attacks been stepped up by the insurgents and more civilians killed instead?

It like when they went to far away Davos to claim that electricity has stabilized in the country, and yet everyday and night Nigerians are deafened by sound of generating sets running in order to either do work or relax. Who are they deceiving? If anything gets better than it used to be, people will see it and commend their efforts. But a situation where officials fail to do their job and rule by claiming fabulous results that are not there is, to say the least, scandalous.

Nigerians will vote for any candidate who shows a good standing and resolve to stop boko haram, and if Jonathan cannot do it now as a president, will Nigerians agree with his campaign promise to stop them after the election? Time is now to prove that he can do it, so Nigerians may vote for him again, not after the elections.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
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 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 Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
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 Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
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 Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
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.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs