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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid