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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More