News / Africa

20 Killed in Suspected Nigerian Militant Attacks

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Gunmen have killed at least 20 people in Nigeria's Borno state, in two attacks suspected to be the work of militant sect Boko Haram.

The attacks appear to be reprisals against civilians who have formed anti-Boko Haram vigilante groups and are cooperating with the Nigerian military's Joint Task Force (JTF).

A Nigerian security source says that late Monday, gunmen shot six members of the civilian JTF as they slept in the town of Damasak. A civilian JTF spokesman confirmed the deaths and said the men ranged in age from 20 to 36.

The killings came a day after suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed 14 members of the vigilante group in the city of Bama.

The chairman of the Bama council said the victims were apparently lured into a trap by the attackers, who he said were dressed in army uniforms.

Bama is surrounded by a forest where Boko Haram members are believed to be hiding out, three months into an ongoing military offensive against the group.

In May, Boko Haram fighters burned down several government buildings in Bama and killed more than 50 people, including 22 policemen.

A week later, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three northeastern states and sent thousands of additional troops to combat Boko Haram.

The Islamist group has carried out dozens of deadly attacks since launching an uprising in 2009, and is blamed for thousands of deaths. Rights groups say the military has killed hundreds more through indiscriminate and heavy-handed counter-attacks.

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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 28, 2013 12:10 PM
If boko haram continues to wield this much power in the country means the country has come to accept them as a genuine group. If Jonathan refuses to summon even one of those who promised what boko haram is doing in the country means he is to be held accountable for the boko haram mayhem in the country. The leaders of the country cannot continue talking to the people from both ends of their mouth, talks that are meaningless while lives are lost at alarming progression.

Question remains, why has there not been a public statement in rejection of the group by the emirs? Instead what we have heard from them is the need to negotiate. In other words those asking for negotiation with boko haram know them. What is the guarantee that they are not the people funding and gingering the attacks on innocent civilians just to get a part in negotiations that will yield revenues to them. The Nigerian government handling of the boko haram issue is questionable by all standards. Jonathan simply doesn't want an end to the saga, otherwise he knows where to press the button and the trouble will stop without legitimizing the evil or granting unnecessary amnesty that will gulp taxpayers' money.

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