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Boko Haram Destroyed 16 Villages & Towns in Nigeria
Jan 12, 2015

Boko Haram razed at least 16 towns and villages in northern Nigeria and may have killed up to 2,000 people in recent violence. After capturing a key military base in northeast Nigeria, members of the armed group used crude bombs to level entire towns. Most victims were children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents fired rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on residents.

The fighters, who have seized more than two dozen towns in northeast Nigeria in the last six months, now control all three of Borno's (a state in Nigeria) borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Boko Haram fighters captured Baga and the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which is made of troops from Nigeria, Niger and Chad. Baga is of strategic importance for Boko Haram, as it is thought to be the last town in northern Borno under federal government control.

According to the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations the 5-year insurgency killed more than 10,000 people last year alone. More than a million people are displaced inside Nigeria and hundreds of thousands have fled across its borders into Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria.

Nigeria's military (West Africa's largest) has come under scrutiny for its inability to fight the militants due to lack of adequate weaponry and even bullets. Boko Haram, in contrast, has been seen with advanced weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machine guns and even a tank.

What is Boko Haram?

Boko Haram (Western education is forbidden) is officially called Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'Awati Wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Prophet's Teachings for Propagation and Jihad), is a militant Islamist movement based in northeast Nigeria. The group is designated as a terrorist organization in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and the United Nations Security Council, which declared it an al-Qaeda affiliate group.


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