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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Houses reduced to rubble, smell of burning flesh reported in Bama

The dreaded Boko Haram Islamist sect attacked the northeast Nigerian village of Bama this week, killing at least 98 people from the last official count. Armed insurgents stormed the town Wednesday morning, firing on a school, shooting or burning to death dozens of people. The palace of a traditional ruler of one of West Africa's oldest Islamic kingdoms was thoroughly trashed.

Reporters described the village as a wasteland of burnt buildings that still smelt faintly of charred flesh.

Reporters described the village as a wasteland of burnt buildings that still smelt faintly of charred flesh.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Nigeria, Boko Haram, Bama, razing, killings


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Journalists reported that a District Head of Goniri Ward, Alhaji Baa Shehu Terab was among those killed by the insurgents. Over 500 buildings, which included the palace of monarch of the town, Shehu of Bama, Alhaji Kyari Ibn El-Kanemi, along with the house of the local government chairman, residential houses, shops, schools and markets were destroyed by fire. Other buildings included the local government secretariat, public offices and several buildings occupied by security forces, among others.

Reporters described the village as a wasteland of burnt buildings that still smelt faintly of charred flesh. Surviving women and children gathered what few possessions they had left and carried them off on their heads to find shelter elsewhere.

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"We recovered 98 bodies that have already been buried since the attack," Akura Satomi, a pro-government civilian militia leader said.

At least 200 people this week have been killed in two separate attacks. Boko Haram, fighting for an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, poses the main threat to Africa's top oil producer.

Islamists killed 106 people in the village of Igze on Sunday. The Borno state governor said that the rebels were better armed and motivated than government forces, a charge the military denied.

The United States has since condemned that attack as "senseless."

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan ordered extra troops into northeast Nigeria to crush Boko Haram last May, which wants to create a breakaway Islamic state in the largely Muslim north.

The offensive has thus far failed to crush the rebellion. The government's co-opting of poorly armed civilian militia has also spurred massive Boko Haram reprisals against civilians.

The local monarch, the Shehu of Bama lamented the violence. "It is as if government is not taking this problem seriously. To be frank, the morale of people here about government is nil." The Shehu says the crisis has the potential of breaking the country, lamented that it was unfortunate the way the federal government was handling it as if it was Borno problem, insisting that the people of the area were robbed because of their disposition of leaving everything to God.

He asked that "can the federal government treat the people of other areas, especially in the south like this without their wrath, it is sad that daily people get killed and no one is doing something big to stop this."

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