5 September 2017

Nigeria: Boko Haram Resurgence Sparks Sharp Rise in Civilians' Death

Photo: VOA
A Boko Haram fighter (file photo).

A major resurgence in Boko Haram attacks and suicide bombings in Cameroon and Nigeria has left at least 381 civilians dead in the five months since the start of April 2017, with casualties more than double the previous five months, Amnesty International (AI) has said.

According to data collected by the organisation, a sharp rise in civilians' death in the far north region of Cameroon and the Nigerian states of Borno and Adamawa has been driven by the armed group's increased use of suicide bombers - often using women and girls who are forced to carry explosives into crowded areas.

The AI's Director for West and Central Africa, Alioune Tine, said: "Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people as they possibly can."

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has said that troops of Mobile Strike Teams (MSTs) 21 on Operation Lafiya Dole have killed many suspected Boko Haram terrorists crossing point along Firgi-Banki Junction Road in Borno State.

A statement signed by Army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman in Abuja yesterday, said the troops neutralised a large number of the terrorists, while others sustained gunshot wounds.

The statement reads: "The troops of Mobile Strike Teams (MSTs) 21, on Operation Lafiya Dole, deployed within the 21 Brigade Nigerian Army Area of Operations, at the early hours of today, Monday, September 4, 2017, laid a successful ambush on a suspected Boko Haram terrorists crossing point along Firgi- Banki Junction Road, Borno State.

"The troops neutralised a large number of the Boko Haram terrorists, while other terrorists sustained gun-shot wounds.

"The troops recovered the following items from the terrorists: 18 bicycles, 15 bags of grains, 17 gallons of grain, five empty gallons, six cutlasses, a sword, water bottles and pairs of slippers."

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