News / Africa

Nigerian Military Says It Foiled 'Extensive Terrorist Operation'

Nigerian soldiers are seen patrolling a town in the north-eastern state of Borno in this April 30, 2013, file photo.Nigerian soldiers are seen patrolling a town in the north-eastern state of Borno in this April 30, 2013, file photo.
x
Nigerian soldiers are seen patrolling a town in the north-eastern state of Borno in this April 30, 2013, file photo.
Nigerian soldiers are seen patrolling a town in the north-eastern state of Borno in this April 30, 2013, file photo.
Heather Murdock
The Nigerian military says it has killed three insurgents and captured 25 while foiling what it calls an "extensive terrorist operation" in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, at the epicenter of the insurrection by the group known as Boko Haram. Communication networks remain shut down making it hard to confirm or deny the military's account.
 
Besides stopping the attack and either arresting or killing all of the plotters, the Nigerian military says it has intercepted messages that urge Boko Haram insurgents to fight on against what the military calls a “massive” offensive against the group.
 
The defense ministry also says it has captured one of the country’s “most wanted" terrorists, a man named only as Abba, and one soldier was killed in the battle.  

Fleeing insurgents, it says, now have fewer places to run because several towns on Nigeria's borders have been taken over by government troops.
 
But public communications networks are down, roads are blocked and there are no independent observers reporting from the fronts, so none of the military reports are verifiable.  There has also been no word from Boko Haram, which usually contacts the public only through YouTube videos, blocked phone lines, and untraceable emails.  
 
Some analysts fear the information blackout is an intentional cover-up of human-rights abuses.  International rights groups and the U.S. government have previously accused Nigeria's military of killing suspects before arresting them, or arresting them without evidence.
 
But Wole Olaoye, a Nigerian journalist for nearly four decades, says these accusations do not account for the reality of a war with Boko Haram, an organization that claims ties to al-Qaida and has been blamed for more than 3,000 deaths.  
 
Soldiers, he says, can neither arrest people that are shooting at them nor identify un-uniformed Boko Haram members without questioning them.  

“The very thin line between doing their duty, between doing one's duty as a soldier and extra-judicial killing, almost disappears.  Because they have said 'It is war,' now the government will now provide all the facilities.  There will be prisoners of war.  There will be protocols for all of these things,” Olaoye said.
 
President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states on May 14 and sent thousands of soldiers to battle Boko Haram.  Since then, the military says it has captured hundreds of militants and killed dozens.  
 
The government says it is also trying to negotiate with Boko Haram and has promised to release hundreds of prisoners, including all women and children held in association with the insurgency.  

But some analysts say the conflict could continue past the planned six-month emergency rule and they suspect the military is exaggerating its successes and playing down its losses.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 28, 2013 6:49 AM
Foil..., how did they find out? Well, we are yet to hear that a politician has been implicated, or that a governor's involved.... How many more orange sellers, brukutu hawkers etc. have they captured giving information to the elusive non-spirit boko haram. Human rights watch should give the soldiers chance to do their work. They are humans and it is not better that they are killed using the dangerous approach of smiling at civilians in the name of friendliness only for same "civilians" to shoot your back as soon as you turn from them.

It is costly and failed the US campaign in Iraq and Afghanistan, only a foolhardy to employ same in the Nigerian episode. Let the army use everything at their disposal to prosecute the war, for its success or failure is theirs, as it is either they kill the insurgents or the insurgent kill them. The bottom line is for Nigeria to be rid of such menace as boko haram, Abumutalab and the duo - Adebolajo and Adebowale (butchers of London).

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid