News / Africa

Nigerian Task Force Denies Killings in Borno State

In this photo taken with a mobile phone, soldiers stand outside a burnt out shopping mall in Maiduguri, Nigeria, October 8, 2012.In this photo taken with a mobile phone, soldiers stand outside a burnt out shopping mall in Maiduguri, Nigeria, October 8, 2012.
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In this photo taken with a mobile phone, soldiers stand outside a burnt out shopping mall in Maiduguri, Nigeria, October 8, 2012.
In this photo taken with a mobile phone, soldiers stand outside a burnt out shopping mall in Maiduguri, Nigeria, October 8, 2012.
VOA News
Nigerian security forces are denying reports soldiers killed at least 30 people and burned shops and houses in the city of Maiduguri in revenge for a bomb attack.

Residents of the northeastern city say soldiers went on a rampage Monday after a bomb went off near an army patrol, killing at least one soldier.

A statement from Nigeria's Joint Task Force on Wednesday denied those accounts, saying there is "no recorded case of extra-judicial killings, torture, arson and arbitrary arrests by the JTF in Borno state."

The JTF is fighting the militant group known as Boko Haram, which is based in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.  Witnesses have accused the security force of brutal tactics and human-rights abuses. 

A politician from nearby Kano state, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the secrecy around Boko Haram frustrates efforts to isolate or subdue the group.

"They do not wear a tag, they do not wear a T-shirt that proclaims they are Boko Haram," said the politician. "So, all you do is talk to the younger elements in your family to be aware of these people.  They should not join any group; they should watch their movement, just moral persuasion."

Much about the group remains unclear, but the militants are believed to want to impose a strict form of Islamic law across northern Nigeria.  It is blamed for killing more than 1,000 people in northern and central Nigeria since 2010.

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by: Ikwen John B. from: Port Harcourt
October 11, 2012 1:37 PM
When a similar Task force was sent to the Niger Delta, there are recorded cases of human rights abuses, including extra judicial killings, rape, torture and arson. The military in their charateristic manner denied the reports. Some connived with oil thiefs and militants to become rich after the exercise. Not only that they sold arms, military information and other classified information to the militants. There is no crude oil or and medium to amass sudden wealth in Maiduguri, so they went on rampage as a result of frustration.

The Boko Haram Islamization agenda of Nigeria is a complete fiasco. No are not welcome anywhere in the country, neither do they draw any meaningful support from any state in the north or central Nigeria. Boko Haram is the faceless arm of northern elites opposition to the government in power in Nigeria. Nigerian politicians especially those from the north, know what they are doing. As soon as they settle themselves, Boko Haram will naturally disappear. Where are the Sharia states in the north again? Northern politician use the Sharia as a weapon of opposition. When Obasanjo was in power, Ahmed Yerima of Zamfara pretended to be a strict muslim, only to deceive them and today he is a senator and nothing is heard of sharia again in zamfara state. You see what we are talking about?

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Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

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