News / Africa

Death Toll in Nigerian Militant Attack Rises to 143

People walk past vehicles and shops burnt by Boko Haram Islamists on a street of Benisheik, on Sept. 19, 2013.
People walk past vehicles and shops burnt by Boko Haram Islamists on a street of Benisheik, on Sept. 19, 2013.
VOA News
Nigerian officials say the death toll from an attack by Islamist militants earlier this week has risen to 143.

An official with the Environmental Protection Agency said authorities have been collecting corpses since the attack took place Tuesday in northeastern Borno state.

Militants believed to be from the group Boko Haram burned scores of homes and buildings in and around the town of Benisheik. Residents said the militants also pulled people from their cars to kill them.

Local witnesses said that the Boko Haram fighters were better armed than soldiers who tried to fight them, and that the militants looted the town, taking away food and numerous vehicles.

Major attacks blamed on Nigeria's Boko Haram
 
2009
  • July - Attacks prompt government crackdown in Bauchi and Maiduguri; 800 people killed
 
2010
  • December - Bombings in central Nigeria and church attacks in the northeast kill 86
 
2011
  • June - Attack on a bar in Maiduguri kills 25
  • August - Suicide bomber kills 23 at U.N. building in Abuja
  • November - Bombings in Damaturu and Potiskum kill 65
  • December - Christmas Day bombings across Nigeria kill 39
 
2012
  • January -- Gun and bomb attacks in Kano kill up to 200
  • February - Maiduguri market attack kills 30
  • June - Suicide car bombings at three churches kill 21
  • July - Attacks in Plateau state kill dozens, including two politicians at a funeral for the victims
 
2013
  • February - French family kidnapped in Cameroon, held hostage for two months
  • April - Fighting with troops in Baga kills up to 200; residents say troops set deadly fires
  • May - Attacks in Bama kill more than 50
  • July - Gunmen kill 30 at a school in Yobe
  • August - Gunmen kill 44 at a mosque outside Maiduguri
  • September - Gunmen kill 40 students a dorm in Yobe
  • October - Attack Yobe state capital Damaturu, clash with military in Borno state
In a separate incident on Friday, Nigerian officials said nine suspected members of Boko Haram were killed in a gunbattle with security agents in the capital, Abuja.

The state security force said several other people were wounded in the early morning clash, which happened in at an unfinished home in a community for Nigerian lawmakers.

Spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said two captured Boko Haram members had told agents about a buried stash of weapons at the site.

"And so a joint security team had to proceed to recover the arms.  So when they got here, they came under attack, and of course they had to respond back," she said.

Ogar told reporters that 12 Boko Haram suspects were arrested.

Two self-professed Boko Haram members were brought in front of reporters and admitted to belonging to the group.

Residents of the community said they doubted the young men were Boko Haram members, saying they were paying rent to stay in the house. 

Boko Haram said it was fighting to impose a strict form of Islamic law on Nigeria's Muslim-majority north.  The militants have been blamed for thousands of deaths since launching an insurgency against the government in 2009.

Borno is one of three northeastern states where President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency and deployed additional troops in May to fight Boko Haram.  Rights groups have criticized the military for heavy-handed operations they say have led to hundreds more deaths.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 20, 2013 11:21 AM
This is arrant nonsense. The federal government under president Goodluck Jonathan is an all-round failure. The failure of his security operatives is his strong-point of asking for a second tenure. What an irony! Christine Amanpour of CNN would say, "Imagine a world". Imagine a country where failure is glorified as politician's pride at their campaigns! Otherwise how does Jonathan explain to the world in general and the country in particular why he wants a second term in the face of a dismal performance as president, especially as security of lives and property is concerned?

Why should he continue to retain an accused boko haram kin pin who has been implicated in various boko haram-type attacks in the country at various times as his chief of police? Nigerians are crying out at the magnitude of bloodbath in these incidents, but it means very little to the mentors who are holding political offices in the country as ministers, emirs, legislators and even governors or exes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs