Number killed range from hundreds to thousands as the media can’t keep up with the jihadists. via 2,000 Killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria Town, Say Reports.
Yola, Nigeria: Hundreds of bodies – too many to count – remain strewn in the bush in Nigeria from an Islamic extremist attack that Amnesty International suggested on Friday is the “deadliest massacre” in the history of Boko Haram.
A report by the organisation stated that there are reports that the town of Baga was razed and as many as 2,000 people were killed.
If true, “this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught,” said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.
Mike Omeri, the government spokesman on the insurgency, said fighting continued on Friday for Baga, a town on the border with Chad where insurgents seized a key military base on January 3 and attacked again on Wednesday.
“Security forces have responded rapidly, and have deployed significant military assets and conducted airstrikes against militant targets,” Omeri said in a statement.
District head Baba Abba Hassan said most victims are children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.
“The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous,” Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for poorly armed civilians in a defense group that fights Boko Haram, said.
He said the civilian fighters gave up on trying to count all the bodies. “No one could attend to the corpses and even the seriously injured ones who may have died by now,” Gava said.
The previous bloodiest day in the uprising involved soldiers gunning down unarmed detainees freed in a March 14, 2014, attack on Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri city. Amnesty said then that satellite imagery indicated more than 600 people were killed that day.
The 5-year insurgency killed more than 10,000 people last year alone, according to the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations. More than a million people are displaced inside Nigeria and hundreds of thousands have fled across its borders into Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria.
Emergency workers said this week they are having a hard time coping with scores of children separated from their parents in the chaos of Boko Haram’s increasingly frequent and deadly attacks.
Just seven children have been reunited with parents in Yola, capital of Adamawa state, where about 140 others have no idea if their families are alive or dead, said Sa’ad Bello, the coordinator of five refugee camps in Yola.
He said he was optimistic that more reunions will come as residents return to towns that the military has retaken from extremists in recent weeks.
Suleiman Dauda, 12, said he ran into the bushes with neighbors when extremists attacked his village, Askira Uba, near Yola last year.
“I saw them kill my father, they slaughtered him like a ram. And up until now I don’t know where my mother is,” he told The Associated Press at Daware refugee camp in Yola.
One unnamed resident of the town described what had happened for the BBC:
When you see soldiers running away into the town – what are you to do, other than to just run away as well?”
“Yesterday at around 05:00 [04:00 GMT] we were woken up by heavy gunshots, and we couldn’t identify where the shots were coming from.
“They came through the north, the west and from the southern part of the town because the eastern part is only water. So, when we [went] towards the western part, we saw heavily armed Boko Haram men coming towards us.
“The soldiers were trying to repel the attack but that wasn’t going to happen because a lot of the soldiers were without their guns and some were running into the town. When you see soldiers running away into the town – what are you to do, other than to just run away as well?”
Maina Maaji Lawan, senator for Borno North, told BBC World Service civilians had run “helter skelter” – “some into the forest, some into the desert”.
Communications with the town were cut off and exact information about casualty numbers could not be confirmed, he said.
via Amnesty Press Release: Nigeria: Massacre possibly deadliest in Boko Haram’s history