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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid