The Butchers of Boko Haram (Graphic Images 18+)
Kano, Nigeria Boko Haram militants have killed scores in a series of raids on dozens of villages in northeast Nigeria’s Adamawa state, continuing its violent campaign of terror in the African nation, a lawmaker said.
For two weeks, Boko Haram gunmen have sacked dozens of villages in Michika district, close to the border with Cameroon, slaughtering male residents and abducting others, said Adamu Kamale, a lawmaker representing Michika district in the Adamawa state House of Assembly.
“They move house to house, killing people — including the old, abducting women, and children and burning homes,” Kamale said Tuesday.
He said villages are littered with bodies, and there is no one to bury them because residents have fled — thousands of
them, heading off into the mountains or across the border into Cameroon — to escape the onslaught.
“They slaughter people like animals,” he said.
”Now, 70% of the people in the district have been dislodged from the homes. Some of them have run into the mountains, while others have crossed into Cameroon or fled to Yola,” the capital of Adamawa state, Kamale said.
Photos link Boko Haram to child soldiers
The villagers’ ordeal is horrific but, sadly, nothing new for Boko Haram.
The terrorist group, its name translating as “Western education is sin,” has been a force in Nigeria for years. It tries to use religion to justify its actions, which are aimed at imposing its strict version of of Sharia law in Nigeria, which is split between a majority Muslim north and a mostly Christian south.
Boko Haram has intensified its attacks in recent years, standing defiant against the Nigerian military. And it hasn’t gone after only government troops or officials, with civilians often becoming victims.
The group has been tied to a spate of assassinations, market bombings, attacks on churches and unaffiliated mosques and raids of villages, including those earlier this month in Michika district.
Mass kidnappings have also been part of its playbook, most notoriously the taking of more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok last April. Boys and young men have been abducted as well, including 40 between the ages of 10 and 23 reportedly taken captive on New Year’s Eve in Borno state, and 97 others kidnapped in and around the village of Doron Baga in August.
And whether or not they were former captives, Boko Haram may be boasting about its use of child soldiers in its fight.
An organization calling itself Boko Haram’s official mouthpiece this week even promoted an alleged military training camp for children on its Twitter feed, posting images of children in formation holding AK-47 weapons.
Military intelligence sources said the images appear to be real and are consistent with the Islamist extremist group’s strategy of forcibly recruiting and training children.
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