Accessibility links

Breaking News

Boko Haram Claims Baga Massacre

A screen grab from a video of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram obtained by AFP shows the leader of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau delivering a message, Jan. 20, 2015.

Nigerian militant group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for mass killings in the city of Baga and is promising further attacks.

A video posted online Wednesday shows the Islamist group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, declaring "We carried out the Baga massacre, and we are going to do more."

Fighters are seen showing off what appear to be thousands of rifles, along with grenades, rocket launchers, machine guns and stacked boxes of ammunition.

Shekau says the arms were captured from Baga, where the group seized a military base from Nigerian soldiers on January 3, then proceeded to burn down thousands of homes. Estimates of the death toll in Baga range from 150 to 2,000.

Shekau warns that "more deaths are coming," and also issues threats against the presidents of Cameroon and Chad.

Last week, Chad sent thousands of troops into Cameroon to help that country fight Boko Haram fighters who have attacked villages in Cameroon's far north. Cameroon's government said Wednesday that troops have rescued a German citizen who Boko Haram kidnapped last July.

The status of some 30 to 50 hostages the militants seized from a Cameroonian village on Sunday is unclear. At least 24 other hostages taken in that raid were freed on Monday.

The video comes in the midst of the Nigerian presidential election campaign. President Goodluck Jonathan is facing a strong challenge from a new opposition party and its candidate Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler.

In the video, Shekau mocks Jonathan and Nigerian authorities, saying "you can't fight us because you have no arms." Some Nigerian soldiers have complained of being outgunned by the militants.

Shekau also has harsh words for Buhari, saying "he is nothing but an infidel and our enemy."

Nigeria's elections are scheduled for February 14, though some observers have questioned whether polls can take place in the volatile northeastern states where Boko Haram is most active.

The group, which says it wants to impose Islamic law, now controls Baga and much of Borno state.

Check out: Boko Haram - a VOA Special Report by Mike Eckel

See comments (3)

This forum has been closed.