News / Africa

Nigerian Islamists Kill 12 in Village Attacks

FILE - Destruction left in the wake of an attack by Boko Haram, Bama, Nigeria, Feb. 20, 2014.
FILE - Destruction left in the wake of an attack by Boko Haram, Bama, Nigeria, Feb. 20, 2014.
Gunmen from Islamist sect Boko Haram shot dead at least 12 people during a four-hour siege on villages in northeast Nigeria overnight, two days after a deadly attack on a school, witnesses said on Thursday.
Boko Haram, whose fight for an Islamic state in northern Nigeria has killed thousands and made them the biggest threat to security in Africa's top oil producer, is increasingly preying on the civilian population.
Gunmen riding in 13 pick-up trucks sped into Kirchinga village in Adamawa state in the evening, burning churches and houses and shooting sporadically at fleeing villagers, residents said.
The insurgents chased residents into neighboring Shuwa village, where they torched the house of a local bishop, a theological school and a police station.
The owner of a bakery, Martha Yakubu, said she counted 12 dead bodies, including two of her workers. Banks, small schools and dozens of houses were attacked.
The military said in a statement that six members of Boko Haram, one soldier and three civilians were killed in the fighting. Nigerian authorities often play down the military's own casualties and those of civilians, security sources say.
The villages are in a hilly region running along the Cameroon border where soldiers have struggled to pin down insurgents who hide in rugged terrain and launch guerrilla attacks on areas they accuse of being pro-government.
Boko Haram gunmen killed 59 pupils at a boarding school in Yobe state, in the northeast close to Adamawa, in the early hours of Tuesday, in an attack President Goodluck Jonathan called “callous and senseless murder.”
Western governments are concerned about Nigerian groups like Boko Haram linking up with al-Qaida-linked cells in other countries in the Sahel region, like Mali, where France sent troops a year ago to oust Islamist militants.
“Today Nigeria is facing the terrorism of Boko Haram,” French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday during the West African country's 100-year anniversary celebrations in the capital Abuja.
“I assure you ... your fight is our fight and we will always be ready to not only give you political support, but our help every time it is necessary,” Hollande added, without giving details of what help was on offer.
Jonathan's troops are struggling to stem Boko Haram's insurgency, although they have restricted attacks mainly to the country's remote northeast corner in recent months, far away from commercial capitals and southern oil fields.
Militants from Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sinful” in the northern Hausa language, have frequently attacked schools in the past. A similar attack in June in the nearby village of Mamudo left 22 students dead.
They have killed more than 300 people this month, mostly civilians, including in two attacks last week that killed around 100 each, one in which militants razed a whole village and shot panicked residents as they tried to flee.

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Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous
March 02, 2014 3:04 AM

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 28, 2014 5:19 AM
Congratulations, islam has done it again! This calls for celebration when the “peaceful religion” achieves another milestone killing - over 300 this year that is less than two months old. When there is a cartoon for children that shows how violent a religion is – the world catches fire, and there are prominent personalities preaching to everyone that listens how islam is a peaceful religion. But the proof is on the contrary. Nigeria has been on fire since islam started to look for its identity in the country. Everywhere the religion is found, it has one identity – violence! In places where it has dominance, minorities have no rights – even to live their lives. In places where they share neighborhood with others, they know nothing but violence and strife. When they are in the minority, they resort to terrorism. Is this how to be a religion of peace?

President Jonathan’s administration's strategy does not help matter here. His new chief of defense was on air last night boasting of what we in the country are unable to fathom – victory over boko haram – something that we do not see yet asked to believe while the group sacks whole villages, burns down whole schools, attacks police stations and military installations with impunity. Last night they drove into a village in 13 Hilux vans, staged a combat there for 4 hours, at the end the chief of defense was proud to announce 6 of them were killed and they killed 4 including one soldier. The truth is we do not know who is the trouble – the soldiers, the police and the JTF (joint task force) team on one hand who are nowhere to be found when needed, or a mirage called boko haram on the other hand that metamorphoses in the face of a pursuit? Is this a case of running with the hare and hunting with the hound? The police, the army, the JTF and the ranks of the security operatives should search themselves for possible insider collaborators. There may after all be no boko haram when the chips are down. One thought the change of baton was to be able to isolate this postulation that the command is using their loyal ranks to execute the demands of their mentors who vowed to make the country too hot for Jonathan until he concedes to returning power to the now enervated Northern Mafia. If these people charged with the security of these places are themselves not the mirage called boko haram, where are they when boko haram invades the same places they are guarding for four to six hours without a challenge? Why has nobody been prosecuted for negligence of duty while it keeps repeating daily?

At this juncture I should be ashamed to be called a muslim. If I belong to a group killing innocent civilians in cold blood; if I belong to a religion that sees nothing wrong with burning school children in their hostels while they sleep; if I love to see blood flow everyday - blood, blood, blood - if my hands have to be soiled by blood on daily basis! I would be ashamed to be called a muslim. But what do we have? Instead we have the state trying to protect this evil by further according it much more respect than it deserves. There is a higher court ruling in USA that YouTube should withdraw a cartoon for children showing the violence this so-called "religion of peace" is capable of inflicting on society. That is an undue gratification, an undeserved reward for disorientation; an ill-informed ruling aimed at distorting and misinforming the world. If anything, there should be an uproar to reject it: this is what people should protest the world over, not Russia-leaning in Ukraine, long Bashir al Assad rule in Syria, or business imbalance leading to occupy protests in New York or Hong Kong. This is the one singler evil the whole world of sanity should rise up one day to reject - even as it is rejected in Central African Republic, CAR.
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
February 28, 2014 5:52 AM
congratulation Islam, Islam is committed other crime and they go away for murder. It is politically in correct to say Islam is a violent religion. the media and Cnn can not talk about Muslim crime because It is peaceful religion. when they attack village in Nigeria and kill innocent people and they can not defend them selves. cnn can not surface the news because christen has to be slaughter like a sheep because Islam is peaceful religion.. I feel sorry about each person killed by Barbaric Muslim. write to state dept. write to us senator to look to the fact and not to look at cnn

by: Mbanana from: Mombassa
February 27, 2014 11:02 PM
Congratulations VOA... for the first time you write "Islamists Kill in Village Attack..." all your articles have left us wonder who might have committed such atrocities... Catholic Priests... Catholic Nuns... Jewish Rabbis... Indian Fakirs... Methodists... Baptists... so, now we know - Islamists..!!! - Thank you...

by: ali baba from: new york
February 27, 2014 7:25 PM
European union and USA ,and Canada .have to send military aids to Nigeria to encounter the terrorist organization . the country has no resources to fight these criminal s .the country need arm and intelligent so they can disable these criminal

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