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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid