Boko Haram: 10 things you should know about the terrorist attack in Baga

The attack is said to have lasted six days and about 3,000 residents of the town are said to have escaped to Chad.

A scene of destruction in Baga after 185 people were killed and over 2000 homes destroyed in April 2013.

Boko Haram insurgents have gone on a killing spree in Baga, Borno State and have reportedly killed thousands of people.

The attack is said to have lasted six days and about 3,000 residents of the town are said to have escaped to Chad.

Here are 10 things you should know about the attack:

  1. It started on Saturday, January 3

  2. Boko Haram initially attacked the military base in Baga which hosts the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), made up of troops from Nigeria, Chad and Niger.

  3. The terrorists engaged the troops in a fierce gun battle in the town.

  4. The soldiers attached to the base fled and the facility was taken over by the insurgents.

  5. The terrorists began a killing spree and are said to have killed 2,000 people in the community. Others are said to have drowned while trying to cross into Chad.

  6. The Boko Haram members also burnt houses and levelled the town. Officials say the town of Baga is “virtually non-existent”

  7. The surviving residents of Baga are said to have fled the town leaving it totally empty.

  8. The streets of Baga are said to be littered with corpses as there’s no one left to bury the dead.

  9. The terrorists are also said to have burnt down 16 communities in the area.

  10. Amnesty international has described the attack as the deadliest massacre in Boko Haram’s history.

Cameroon bombs Boko Haram positions

First air strikes by Cameroon come after armed group from neighbouring Nigeria seized a military camp.

Cameroon’s air force has bombed Boko Haram positions in the Far North province of the country for the first time after the armed group from neighbouring Nigeria seized a military camp, the government has said.

President Paul Biya personally ordered Sunday’s air strike, which forced the Boko Haram fighters to flee the camp at Assighasia, Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement late on Sunday.

“Fighter planes went into action for the first time since the start of the conflict” on Cameroon’s side of the border, after several months of deadly raids on troops and civilians by Boko Haram, Bakary added.

“After two strikes and heavy fire … the assailants fled the Assighasia camp, … losing several fighters,” the minister said, adding that military operations were still under way and that “the toll from combat will be released once the operational evaluation is complete”.

A Boko Haram squad attacked the Assighasia camp on Sunday morning and the “Cameroonian defence forces had to withdraw after trying to defend the position”, the government statement said.

Increased strikes

According to local reporter, Eugene Nforngwa, the attack by Boko Haram was also the first time the group had succeeded in taking a military base in the Far North of Cameroon.

The last serious attack took place in mid-October when a suicide bomber exploded a car outside the military base in Amchide. The army succeeded in destroying a tanker belonging to the fighters just before it smashed through the base of the Rapid Response Battalion (BIR in French) in the locality – just 800m from the Cameroon-Nigeria border, Nforngwa reported.

The military said then – in interviews and briefings – that it believed Boko Haram was determined to seize several border towns in Cameroon, in order to expand its caliphate across the border into Far North Cameroon, Nforngwa said. It believed that the group was also recruiting fighters in Cameroon.

Difficult to police

Though Cameroon has deployed thousands of troops to the Far North, the region is difficult to police because of the rugged terrain.

Vast expanses of territory are uninhabited and there are few physical barriers demarcating Cameroon’s border with Nigeria. Many on either side speak the same language and it is often difficult to distinguish locals from foreigners.

Boko Haram has become a deadly force to be reckoned with since 2009 in northern Nigeria and have made raids into Cameroon.

Cameroon has encouraged locals to form vigilante groups, to report strangers and suspicious behaviour in their communities and has enforced a partial curfew including on the movement of motorbikes.

Boko Haram tactics include massacres of civilians on both sides of the frontier, the razing of villages, large-scale kidnappings and, most recently, direct assaults on Cameroonian troops.

Boko Haram could ‘disenfranchise Nigeria voters’

Civilians who fled their homes following an attack by Islamist militants, in Gwoza arrived at the camp for internally displaced people in Yola, Nigeria, on 27 November 2014

At least 1.5 million people displaced by the Islamist insurgency in north-east Nigeria may not be able to vote in elections if the law is not changed, an electoral official has told the BBC.

Discrepancies in the law needed to be resolved in “very good time” or people could be disenfranchised, he added.

Ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari will challenge President Goodluck Jonathan in the February election.

Boko Haram’s insurgency has mainly affected opposition strongholds.

Last year, Mr Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in the north-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe in a bid to curb the insurgency.

However, Boko Haram has stepped up attacks since then and has declared an Islamic state in areas it controls.

‘Staggered voting’

BBC Nigeria reporter Will Ross says it is not clear whether the elections will take place at all in states under emergency rule.

But the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) said it was determined to ensure that the elections took place in all parts of the country.

The vote could be held on a staggered basis and areas could be secured with “proper deployment” of the security forces, Inec spokesman Nick Dazzang told BBC Focus on Africa.

Inec was distributing voter cards to displaced people, many of whom were living in camps, but discrepancies in Nigeria’s Electoral Act needed to be “reconciled”, he added.

Deadly explosions rock market in central Nigeria

At least 12 people were killed Thursday in two bomb explosions at a market in the central Nigerian city of Jos, a security guard at the scene said, marking the latest instance of violence to hit the volatile region.

Nigeria’s state broadcaster NTA reported the explosions took place at the terminus area of the Jos market.

According to Mohammed Adams, a security guard there, a young man walked into the market with a small cart claiming he was carrying yams. He kept moving before detonating one device, killing two.

People chased him, but couldn’t stop him before he managed to blow himself up — killing at least 10 more — Adams said.

Nigerian officials have yet to provide an official death toll from the explosions.

Located about 250 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of the national capital of Abuja, Jos is in an area that has been beset by violence in recent years.

Much of that fighting has pitted Nigerian troops against Boko Haram, the Islamist terror group trying to impose its strict version of Sharia law across the African nation. Citizens have repeatedly been caught up in the mayhem such as mass kidnappings of women and children as well as bombings of schools, churches and mosques blamed on Boko Haram.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday’s attack.

However, Boko Haram has been tied to violence in Jos before, including a double car-bombing at the same market in May that killed 118 people.

Cameroon kills 107 Boko Haram fighters Read more at: Cameroon kills 107 Boko Haram fighters | LATEST NIGERIAN NEWS BREAKING HEADLINES NEWSPAPERS

Amid reports of a ceasefire agreement between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram sect, Cameroon yesterday announced that it had killed 107 members of the terrorist group. Cameroonian soldiers reportedly killed the deceased members of the deadly sect in an ambush shortly after the sect’s members beheaded 30 civilians. AFP quoted Cameroon’s defence ministry as saying in a statement read on state radio that the combat occurred on Wednesday and Thursday after militants from the Nigeria-based Boko Haram drove into the border towns of Amchide and Limani. Officials said eight Cameroonian soldiers died in the battle, which the ministry called “fighting of rare violence”. It was not possible to independently verify the information or the toll. Boko Haram rebels, who have been waging attacks in Northern Nigeria and who kidnapped more than 200 school girls in April, frequently cross into neighbouring Cameroon. A police officer speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity said that before the military confronted them, the Boko Haram fighters “cut the throats of many civilians, 30 at least.” The manager of a money transfer agency was among the murdered, he said, and a Catholic church, a Protestant church and several bars were burnt. “They wanted to attack the camp” where elite soldiers were garrisoned “with a booby-trapped car, but the soldiers were one step ahead of them and destroyed it,” the police officer said.