Daily Trust (Abuja)

16 July 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram Killed 2,053 in Six Months - Human Rights Watch

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Boko Haram.

Human Rights Watch has said Boko Haram insurgents are responsible for the death of at least 2,053 civilians in about 95 attacks in the last six months.

The Human Rights organization in a press release yesterday said, the figures are based on detailed analyses of media reports as well as field investigations.

The rights group said the killings and other abuses were part of widespread attacks on civilians in over 70 towns and villages in northeastern Nigeria, in the federal capital, Abuja, and elsewhere that are crimes against humanity.

The statement added that, "There has been a dramatic increase during 2014 in the numbers of casualties from bomb blasts, including several apparent suicide bombings.

The statement further said, since January, at least 432 people were reported killed in 14 blasts in crowded marketplaces, a brothel, a technical college, and, on two occasions, places where people were watching soccer matches.

Three of these attacks were in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital; two in Kano; two in Jos, the Plateau state capital; and three in Abuja, the federal capital. The Abuja attacks may demonstrate a southward trend of Boko Haram operations, the Human Rights Watch said.

"Boko Haram is effectively waging war on the people of northeastern Nigeria at a staggering human cost," said Corinne Dufka, West Africa director at Human Rights Watch. "Atrocities committed as part of a widespread attack on civilians are crimes against humanity, for which those responsible need to be held to account."

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