15 May 2014

Nigeria: Vigilante Groups Kill Boko Haram Suspects

Photo: Vanguard
Boko Haram attack.

The people of Kalabalge, a village in Borno State have killed and arrested scores of suspected Boko Haram members who were suspected of planning to launch an attack, the residents and a security official said.

The attack on members of the group which holds hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls comes amid the creation of vigilante groups that are resisting the Islamic uprising.

According to the Associated Press (AP), a security official said on Tuesday morning, after they learnt of an impending attack by militants, a vigilante group in Kalabalge ambushed two trucks in which gunmen travelled, killing and arresting scores of them.

Residents of Kalabalge said they had formed a vigilante group to foil attacks by Boko Haram insurgents amid accusations the Nigerian military is not doing enough to stem attacks.

Borno State is where more than 300 girls were abducted last month and one of the three Nigerian states where a state of emergency was imposed, giving the military special powers to fight the Islamic extremist group. Attacks have persisted despite a heightened military presence, drawing criticism from residents and civic groups which feel that the government was not acting fast enough to contain the insurgency.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday sought to extend the state of emergency for another six months.

Boko Haram has gained global notoriety following its abduction of schoolgirls on April 15 in Chibok, Borno State At least 276 of them are still held captive with the group's leader threatening to sell them into slavery. In a video released on Monday, he offered to release the girls in exchange for the freedom of jailed Boko Haram members.

In Kalabalge, a village of about 250 kilometres from Maiduguri, residents appear to be taking matters into their own hands.

Kalabalge trader, Ajid Musa, said: "It is impossible" for militants to stage attacks there, after residents organised the vigilante group.

"That is why most attacks by the Boko Haram on our village continued to fail because they cannot come here and start shooting and killing people."

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