News / Africa

Raid in Northeast Nigeria Killed 55 People

Injured policemen are seen outside Shehu's Palace of Bama, Borno State, Nigeria. May 7, 2013.Injured policemen are seen outside Shehu's Palace of Bama, Borno State, Nigeria. May 7, 2013.
x
Injured policemen are seen outside Shehu's Palace of Bama, Borno State, Nigeria. May 7, 2013.
Injured policemen are seen outside Shehu's Palace of Bama, Borno State, Nigeria. May 7, 2013.
Anne Look
The Nigerian military says that about 200 gunmen, suspected to be members of the radical sect known as Boko Haram, raided a northeastern town Tuesday and killed 55 people, most of them police and prison officials, and set dozens of prison inmates free. This latest raid comes amid a surge of violence in the far northeast in the past month and accusations that the Nigerian security forces are responding by committing abuses against civilians.

Nigeria's Joint Military Task Force [JTF] says busloads of attackers armed with machine guns raided the northeastern town of Bama on Tuesday.

Officials say two soldiers, 14 prison officials and 22 policeman were killed during the multi-pronged attack. Three children and a woman who were burnt to death were among the civilian casualties.

The JTF spokesman for Borno State, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, said gunmen attacking the town's prison cornered the guards in a windowless room and shot them at close range.

"All the officers on duty at the time of the attack were killed. They were running. There was a place where they were hidden, but the prison inmates exposed them and they were killed," said Musa.

He said the prison's 105 inmates all escaped.

Musa took journalists Tuesday to Bama, where he said attackers had burned down the magistrate court, a health center, a police station, police barracks and the local government secretariat. He said officials had recovered the bodies of 10 dead assailants. He said the majority of the attackers came in army uniforms "pretending to be soldiers."

This latest attack in the northeast comes as the Nigerian military struggles to shake off accusations that a government military raid in the northeastern town of Baga destroyed as many as 2,000 homes on April 16 and April 17 after Boko Haram attacked a military patrol, killing one soldier.  

Local officials said the violence in Baga killed more than 200 people. The military put the death toll at 36 and said only 30 homes were destroyed. The Nigerian government has ordered a full investigation.

JTF spokesman Musa said Tuesday's raid in Bama was not the first time that attackers have worn what look to be military camouflage.

"Look at what happened in Baga, look at the way people are condemning us, and look at the way we are losing our lives," he said.

Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for Tuesday's raid in Bama. But attacking prisons to free inmates, in particular detained militants, has become a hallmark of the radical Islamist insurgent group since its emergence in 2009.

Since then, Human Rights Watch says insurgency-related violence has killed 3,600 people in Nigeria.

Abdulkareem Haruna contributed to this report from MAIDUGURI, Nigeria.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid