Amnesty International has stated that the massacre by Boko Haram is the worst one the group has ever committed, having killed over 2,000 people. The agency reported that there were hundreds of bodies strewn all over.
Boko Haram terrorists attacked the town of Baga, which borders the country of Chad. Earlier this week, the terrorist group took control of an important military base. In response to the attack, security forces have brought in a large amount of weapons and troops and are preparing for an attack. Airstrikes have already been made against the terrorist group since the destruction.
Most of the victims in the attack were the elderly and women, as well as those who just could not get out of the way quick enough. Boko Haram drove into town and started firing rocket grenades and using assault rifles on the residents. Amnesty International stated that they heard reports that the entire town had been razed.
The town of Baga had a population of thousands of Nigerians. It also had a multinational military base in it, and it was the last city in Borno that was still under the control of the government.
The attack by Boko Haram on the town, which started early in the morning, was so sudden that the troops fought briefly and then fled. This left the civilians on an “every man for himself” basis. The town was just about surrounded, but it had Lake Chad on one side. Some tried to swim to an island in the lake, but more died on the way. A fisherman said that there are more than 500 on the island and they have no food, shelter or protection from mosquitoes.
It is not known for sure just how many have died in the town. Some reports have indicated that possibly as many as 10,000 people have been displaced from the town.
There is no doubt that Boko Haram has showed its worst side in this attack as it mercilessly killed possibly over 2,000 people. In another attack this week, the terrorist group used a new tactic, they put a bomb on a little girl and hid it under her veil. Local people who saw her before the blast believed her to be no more than 10 years old. 20 people were killed and more were injured when it was detonated.
Refugees from the new area taken over by Boko Haram have fled into neighboring Chad, Niger and Cameroon. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees states that as many as 7,300 Nigerian refugees fled into Chad this week, and about half of that number went into the country previously. Several international agencies are currently assessing their needs, as well as the government of Chad.
The terrorist group now controls about 20,000 square miles. This is similar in size to the country of Belgium. The leader of the terrorists is Abubakar Shekau, who has declared the territory he controls as his own “caliphate,” modeling his actions after that of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He has also attacked towns and military bases in Chad.
The Nigerian army is not able to put up much of a defense against Shekau. Corruption within the army, and problems with the government have created a weak force. Although Boko Haram has killed over 2,000 people this week, there is no indication that it will stop any time soon.
By Mike Valles
Photo by European Commission DG ECHO – Flickr License