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Author Topic: President Buhari condemns Boko Haram's 'heinous' attacks  (Read 213 times)
July 04, 2015, 02:56:59 PM

Offline Mhiz Ifeoluwa

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Nigeria's president has described as a "heinous atrocity" the latest wave of attacks by Boko Haram militants that left more than 150 people dead.

Muhammadu Buhari also called for a faster deployment of a regional military force to fight the Islamists.

The gunmen have been launching attacks on remote villages in the north-eastern Borno state since Tuesday, targeting people attending evening prayers.

Mr Buhari - who was sworn in in May - sees fighting Boko Haram as a priority.

According to Amnesty International, at least 17,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 2009, when Boko Haram launched its violent uprising to try to impose militant Islamist rule.

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These are the worst Boko Haram attacks for many weeks,  Nigeria correspondent Will Ross reports.
In a statement on Friday, President Buhari said the recent attacks were "inhuman and barbaric."

He said they were "the last desperate acts of fleeing agents of terrorism".

The assaults began on Tuesday, when the militants shot dead 48 men after they had finished prayers in two villages near the town of Monguno, a resident told Hausa.

He said he had heard gun shots at one of the villages attacked and saw it on fire.

"They were praying in the mosque when Boko Haram attackers descended on the village. They waited till they finished the prayers. They gathered them in one place, separated men from women and opened fire on them," he said.

On Wednesday, more than 50 gunmen killed 97 people in the village of Kukawa, near Lake Chad, eyewitness Babami Alhaji Kolo was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

"The terrorists first descended on Muslim worshippers in various mosques who were observing the Maghrib prayer shortly after breaking their fast [for the Muslim month of Ramadan]," he said.

"They... opened fire on the worshippers who were mostly men and young children. They spared nobody."

On Thursday, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in another Borno village, police said.

No-one knows how many people were shot or had their throats slit by the jihadists who targeted several villages on Tuesday and Wednesday - it is impossible for people who are fleeing for their lives or rushing the injured away in wheelbarrows to stay back and count.

The fact that it took as many as 48 hours for any news of the atrocities to reach the main city in Borno State, Maiduguri, points to just how cut off and vulnerable these communities are.

Boko Haram may no longer hold territory but there is little to celebrate when large swathes of the north-east are clearly not under any kind of government control.

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