[QODLink]
Africa

Deaths reported in Boko Haram raid in Nigeria

Suspected fighters target Damboa in country's north, "killing many" in early morning attack, witnesses say.

Last updated: 18 Jul 2014 20:44
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Suspected Boko Haram fighters have killed many villagers and set homes ablaze in a northeastern Nigerian town, witnesses say.

Residents of Damboa town told the Associated Press news agency on Friday morning that Boko Haram fighters attacked the town at dawn, throwing explosives into residential homes and shooting at civilians.

Boko Haram, which roughly means "Western education is forbidden", is an armed group that is fighting to form an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

A government local official who requested anonymity said civilians who did not surrender to the fighters were killed.

"They killed many people. Women and children fled into the bush," he said.

No end in sight: Boko Haram's bloody legacy

Residents of Damboa told AP they were "piling up corpses" after the attack.

Nigeria's Defence Ministry said it had repelled the fighters and killed at least 50 of them.

The army also incurred losses with at least six soldiers killed in the clashes, the ministry said.

Damboa has been besieged for two weeks, since Boko Haram fighters attacked a new tank battalion base set up on its outskirts on July 4.

The town sits on the main road south from Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

The military was not immediately available to comment on the attack.

Fighters previously attacked a police station and an army camp in Damboa on July 6, chasing the security forces out of the town, which has been one of the hardest-hit areas during Boko Haram's five-year uprising.

Damboa residents have been left unguarded since the previous attack, the official and witnesses said.

The northeast of Nigeria is plagued by Boko Haram attacks and has been under a state of emergency since May 2013.

Nigeria has been battling Boko Haram for years without success, and has had to seek assistance from world powers such as the US, France, Britain and China to free the estimated 200 school girls abducted by the group in April 2014.

Thousands of people have been killed in Nigeria’s insurgency, more than 2,000 so far just this year, and an estimated 750,000 Nigerians have been driven from their homes. 

368

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
About 500,000 participated around the globe in the Peoples Climate March, and Al Jazeera spoke to some in New York.
Separatist movements in Spain, Belgium and Italy may face headwinds following Scotland's decision to stay in the UK.
A fishing trawler carrying 500 migrants across the Mediterranean was rammed by another boat, causing hundreds to drown.
Anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party - with roots in the neo-Nazi movement - recently won 12.9 percent of the vote.
Palestinian doctor who lost three daughters in previous Gaza war is fighting to bring 100 wounded kids to Canada.