Boko Haram claims Chad, Nigeria attacks: SITE

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for attacks in Chad’s capital N’Djamena and the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the SITE Intelligence Group said.

The US-based monitoring group said the claim of responsibility, made on Twitter, was signed “Islamic State, West Africa Province”, as Boko Haram has styled itself since pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group in March.

“West Africa Province (formerly Boko Haram) of #ISIS claimed the suicide bombings today in Chad and Nigeria,” SITE said on Twitter.

A statement citing Boko Haram’s Twitter message identified the attackers and said they had “pounded strongholds of disbelief in West Africa.”

At least 15 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a crowded market in N’Djamena on Saturday. Boko Haram had previously claimed responsibility for a June 15 attack in the city that left 38 dead.

In Maiduguri, two people were killed when two suicide bombers tried to target a busy bus station. Heavy security prevented the attackers from getting into the terminal.

Reports indicated the two victims were pedestrians.

Photo Credits : AFP

Boko Haram raid on NE Nigeria village ‘kills 11’

Eleven people were killed in a Boko Haram raid on a remote village in northeast Nigeria, residents and a civilian vigilante assisting the military against the Islamists told AFP.

“We had just finished our evening prayers when Boko Haram gunmen invaded our village,” said resident Kyari Sanda from Ngamdu, 100 kilometres (63 miles) south of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

“They opened fire instantly. We lost 11 people and now almost half our village was set ablaze. They took all of our supplies.”

Danlami Ajaokuta, from the civilian militia force, confirmed the attack, which happened on Friday at about 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) and is the latest in northeast Nigeria in recent weeks.

The attack — and a botched suicide bombing on a bus station in Maiduguri on Saturday morning — took the death toll from Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria to nearly 580 since May 29, according to AFP reporting.

Muhammadu Buhari was inaugurated as president on that day and has vowed to end the Islamist insurgency, which has left at least 15,000 dead and made more than 1.5 million people homeless since 2009.

Photo Credits : AFP

Nigerian voters try again after technical glitches

Nigerians hit by failures in new election technology return to the polls on Sunday, to allow them to cast their ballots in the country’s close-run presidential election.

President Goodluck Jonathan — who is running against former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari — and at least three governors from his ruling party were among those whose biometric details could not be checked by the devices, which are designed to combat electoral fraud.

Instead, they had to be processed by hand. Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) called it a “huge national embarrassment” and a “vindication” of their position against the technology.

“There should have been a test-run for a smaller election before deploying it for an election of this magnitude,” said Jonathan’s presidential campaign spokesman Femi Fani-Kayode.

Buhari, Jonathan’s main opponent whose All Progressives Congress (APC) party had backed the voter identity card readers, however, suggested the row was overblown.

“All this, I think, negative thought about Nigeria election shouldn’t hold because of (a) problem in even a maximum of five states,” he said.

A 24-hour extension to the election was “in order”, he added after voting in his home state of Katsina, in the Muslim-majority north.

– Boko Haram –

The confusion over the malfunctioning technology added to problems in voting in Africa’s most populous nation which included election officials arriving late — or sometimes not at all.

Boko Haram, which has dominated the campaign trail, also loomed large, apparently holding good to their pledge to disrupt what it sees as the “un-Islamic” elections by launching a series of attacks.

On Friday, 23 people were beheaded and homes set on fire in Buratai, some 200 kilometres (125 kilometres) from the Borno state capital, although it was not clear if it was poll-related.

On Saturday, at least seven people were killed in a string of shootings that witnesses blamed on the Islamists in the northeastern state of Gombe. Three of the attacks were at polling stations.

An election official in the Nafada district, who asked not to be identified, said the gunmen were heard shouting: “Didn’t we warn you about staying away from the election?”

The Islamists have repeatedly targeted Nafada but the APC on Saturday blamed its political opponents.

– Enforced delay –

Sunday will again see tight security in place for the vote from 0700 GMT, given Nigeria’s past history of poll-related violence that in 2011 saw some 1,000 people killed after the result was announced.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had said the overall result would be announced within 48 hours of polls closing.

But the enforced delay, which will see those affected by the technical glitches accredited by hand, will likely stretch an already loose deadline.

INEC chairman Attahiru Jega told NTA state television in an interview on Saturday night that what happened to Jonathan was “regrettable and a national embarrassment”.

But he added that “in general, we believe that in spite of the challenges things have gone very well” and that turn-out was “quite large”.

The body’s spokesman Kayode Idowu said voting would take place on Sunday in “just about 300 polling units out of about 150,000” across the country.

“These include about 109 places where cards were not read. Barely 100 places with biometrics issue and others had issue with batteries,” he told reporters in the capital, Abuja.

“There are some states without any such incident at all.”

– Close-run –

The problems come with close interest in Nigeria’s presidential election, which is the mostly keenly fought in the country’s history.

Jonathan have portrayed the 72-year-old Buhari as yesterday’s man, warning that his reputation as a bulwark against graft and “indiscipline” is a cover for dictatorship.

Both men have been seen as neck-in-neck in rare pre-election polling with the real possibility that the PDP could be defeated for the first time since the return to civilian rule in 1999.

Observers have, however, seen the six-week delay in voting from February 14 on security grounds as a ploy for Jonathan to claw back lost ground using the greater power of incumbency.

Voting is also taking place for the country’s parliament.

Photo Credits : AFP

Voting suspended in some places in Nigeria: electoral commission

Nigeria’s electoral commission on Saturday said polling in the country’s presidential and parliamentary election had been suspended in some places because of glitches with new voter ID card readers.

The Independent National Electoral Commission said there had been “challenges” with the technology in “many” places, without specifying a number, that had led to the suspension of the accreditation process.

“In polling units where accreditation was suspended to the following day in accordance with the existing guidelines, arrangement will be made for voters to vote tomorrow (Sunday),” information commissioner Chris Yimoga told reporters in Abuja.

Photo Credits : AFP

Nigeria denies reports of new mass Boko Haram kidnapping

Nigeria’s government on Wednesday denied reports of a mass kidnapping in the country’s northeast, as Boko Haram militants flee a four-nation military offensive.

“There is no fresh kidnapping in Damasak,” Nigeria’s national security spokesman Mike Omeri told AFP, referring to the town recently retaken by forces from neighbouring Chad and Niger.

Reports suggested that the Islamist militants, who seized the town in Borno state earlier this year, made off with hundreds of children as they fled the troops’ advance.

But Omeri said Nigeria had no information about a mass abduction. A senator who represents the area and a senior intelligence source also cast doubt on the reports.

The contradictory claims shed light on the difficulty of establishing facts in the brutal, six-year conflict, with communications infrastructure devastated in the northeast and travel restricted.

Officials, the military and locals frequently give contrasting information.

The militants do have a track record of mass kidnappings, however, including the high-profile abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April last year from the Borno town of Chibok.

Details about the kidnapping were muddied for weeks by military and official denials of details reported by the affected families.

The disputes over what actually happened were finally laid to rest when Boko Haram released a video picturing dozens of the hostages, who were subsequently identified by relatives.

Omeri noted Boko Haram’s widely reported tactic of forcibly conscripting young boys during their hit-and-run attacks and attempts to indoctrinate them into the group’s radical ideology.

Many Boko Haram fighters are believed to be on the run as a result of the offensive by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, who have routed the insurgents from dozens of towns.

Several sources said it was possible, and perhaps even likely, that scores of Boko Haram conscripts were missing, feared kidnapped by the militants across the region.

But they denied a specific mass abduction in Damasak, where the Chadian military last week said that about 100 bodies, some of them decapitated, were found in a mass grave.

Senator Maina Lawan, whose constituency includes Damasak, said: “I will be extremely surprised that such a huge number of my constituents would be abducted without me being informed.

“It is very unlikely that Boko Haram would have abducted such a huge number of people from Damasak because most of the people had fled months ago when Boko Haram took over‎.”

A senior intelligence source in Borno’s capital Maiduguri said there was “no iota of truth” to the mass abduction claims.

Photo Credits : AFP

3 Chad soldiers, 123 Boko Haram militants killed in Cameroon

Three soldiers and 123 Boko Haram militants were killed when the Islamist group attacked a Chadian army contingent in northern Cameroon, the Chadian military said Friday.

Twelve soldiers were wounded in the attacks staged by the Islamist group on Thursday and Friday in the Fotokol region, according to a military statement read out on national television.

The Chadian army has sent a convoy of troops and 400 military vehicles into neighbouring Cameroon to deal with the growing threat Boko Haram poses in the region.

Photo Credits : AFP

Chad votes to send troops to Cameroon, Nigeria to fight Boko Haram

Chad’s parliament voted Friday to send armed forces to Cameroon and Nigeria to fight Boko Haram a day after President Idriss Deby Itno announced his intention to join the fight against the Islamists. A convoy roared out of the city after Chad’s parliament voted to send armed forces to Cameroon and Nigeria to fight against the Islamists.

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya had announced Thursday that Chad President Idriss Deby had decided to send “a substantial contingent” of troops to help Cameroonian armed forces who have faced repeated attacks from Boko Haram.

A source close to the army said the force had begun preparing for departure on Thursday.

Earlier on Friday, Chad’s parliament in N’Djamena voted 150 to 0 to send an unspecified number of “Chadian armed troops and security forces to assist Cameroonian and Nigerian soldiers waging war against the terrorists in Cameroon and Nigeria”.

Boko Haram is fighting to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria along the border with Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

 

NE Nigeria suicide bombing kills five, wounds 11

A suicide bomber killed at least five people and wounded 11 on Friday near a marketplace in northeastern Nigeria, an emergency services official told AFP.

“It was a suicide bombing,” said Saidu Ahmed Minin, head of operation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Gombe. “Six people were killed including the bomber and 11 others were injured. We evacuated them to the hospital.”

Witnesses said the blast went off at 7:25 pm (1825 GMT) in the packed market neighbourhood of Kasuwar Arawa, close to the public university in Gombe, which is capital of Gombe state.

“The bomber went into the crowd of people waiting to recharge their telephones” at a public charging station “and then set off the explosive,” taxi driver Idris Babandada told AFP by telephone. “The explosion shook the whole neighbourhood.”

No one claimed immediate responsiblity for the attack, but Boko Haram militants are increasingly powerful in the north-east of Nigeria and Gombe has been hit by several suicide bombers recently, most of them at bus stations and near military installations.

An aid worker in Gombe said that the injured were being treated by aid volunteers and nurses, because doctors in the city were on strike.

Photo Credits : AFP

Nigeria calls for support after ‘deadliest’ Boko Haram attack

Nigeria’s military has called for support in tackling Boko Haram after a major attack on a key northeast town that is feared could be the worst in the bloody six-year insurgency.

There are still no independently corroborated figures for the huge numbers said to have been killed in Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad in the far north of Borno State.

But defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement issued late Saturday that the description of the assault as “the deadliest” was “quite valid”.

“The attack on the town by the bloodhounds and their activities since January 3rd, 2015 should convince well-meaning people all over the world that Boko Haram is the evil all must collaborate to end, rather than vilifying those working to check them,” he said.

Nigeria’s military — West Africa’s largest — has faced repeated criticism for failing to end the six-year Islamist insurgency, as well as allegations of human rights abuses.

Soldiers have complained of a lack of adequate weapons and even refused to deploy to take on the better-armed rebels, who want to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.

With elections set for next month, Nigeria’s government has also been accused of playing politics with the insurgency, as most of the areas worst affected by the violence are main opposition strongholds.

But Olukolade said: “The Nigerian military has not given up on Baga and other localities where terrorist activities are now prevalent.

“Appropriate plans, men and resources are presently being mobilised to address the situation,” he said on defenceinfo.mil.ng, in the military’s first detailed comment on last weekend’s attack.

The military and government often makes such statements, without giving specific details, yet there are reports of attacks on an almost daily basis.

On Saturday, two explosions rocked northeast Nigeria, including one by a suicide bomber at a crowded market in the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, by a young girl thought to be just 10. Nineteen people were killed.

Photo Credits : AFP

Boko Haram kidnaps 185 women and children, kills 32 people

Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped at least 185 women and children, and killed 32 people in a raid in northeastern Nigeria this week, local officials and residents said.

Gunmen in pickup trucks attacked the village of Gumsuri, just north of Chibok, on Sunday, shooting down men before herding women and children together.

“They gathered the women and children and took them away in trucks after burning most of the village with petrol bombs,” a local government official said on condition anonymity for fear of reprisal.

News of the attack took four days to emerge because of a lack of communication. Telecommunications towers in the region had been disabled in previous attacks.

Local officials learned of the attack from residents who fled to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, where the officials had moved to a year ago to escape Boko Haram attacks.

The militants stormed the village from two directions, overwhelming local vigilantes who had repelled Boko Haram attacks over the course of the year, said Gumsuri resident Umar Ari, who trekked for four days to Maiduguri.

‎”They destroyed almost half the village and took away 185 women, girls and boys,” Ari said.‎

Resident Modu Kalli said the militants fired heavy machine guns on the village and poured canisters of gasoline on houses before setting them on fire.

“We lost everything in the attack. I escaped with nothing, save the clothes I have on me,” Kalli said.

Hundreds of residents of Gumsuri continue to arrive in Maiduguri, which has been struggling to accommodate thousands of residents fleeing towns and villages overrun by Boko Haram.

 

 

 

Nigerian village buries 45 after Boko Haram slaughter

At least 45 people were killed in a Boko Haram reprisal attack on a village in northeastern Nigeria, the epicentre of the Islamists’ five-year insurgency, the head of the local government and a military source said on Friday.

The military source said the militants stormed the village in Wednesday’s attack to avenge four of their members who had wandered into the market but were identified and killed by soldiers in a gun fight.

“The Boko Haram militants mobilised and came on a reprisal,” the source told Reuters in the Borno state capital Maiduguri.  The attack on Azaya Kura village occurred on a busy market day, Shettima Lawan, chairman of Mafa district council said by telephone.  “They slaughtered 45 people

 

Boko Haram leader says kidnapped girls married off, converted to Islam

Boko Haram laughed off Nigeria’s announcement of a ceasefire agreement, saying there is no such deal and schoolgirls abducted in spring have been converted to Islam and married off.

Nigerian officials announced two weeks ago that they had struck a deal with the Islamist terror group.

The deal, the government said, included the release of more than 200 girls whose kidnapping in April at a boarding school in the nation’s north stunned the world.

In a video released Saturday, the Islamist group’s notorious leader fired off a series of denials.

“Don’t you know the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls have converted to Islam?”  Abubakar Shekua said. “They have now memorized two chapters of the Quran.”

Shekau slammed reports of their planned release. “We married them off. They are in their marital homes,” he said, chuckling.

The group’s leader also denied knowing the negotiator with whom the government claimed it worked out a deal, saying he does not represent Boko Haram.

Source :

Boko Haram “abduct more girls”

Unconfirmed reports indicate that more girls have been abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The abductions have however not been confirmed by the authorities, but residents say they took place a day after the military announced it had agreed a ceasefire with the Boko Haram group.

The government hopes the Islamist group will free more than 200 girls seized in April as part of negotiations.

Boko Haram has not confirmed the truce.

Following last Friday’s ceasefire announcement, the government said further talks with Boko Haram were due to be held this week in neighboring Chad.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29740204

Boko Haram yet to keep their end of the bargain

Talks to free more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Nigerian militants last April did not begin as projected on Tuesday, although there are signs the militants and Nigeria’s government are preparing for the talks in Chad.

A prominent Nigerian newspaper, This Day, reported Tuesday that a federal government negotiating team has departed for the Chadian capital, N’djamena.

Meanwhile, a purported leader of militant group Boko Haram, Danladi Ahmadu, has told VOA’s Hausa service that he is heading to Chad to await word on when the talks will start.

Read more: http://www.voanews.com/content/nigeria-boko-haram-appear-to-move-toward-talks/2491068.html

Kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls ‘to be freed’ after deal with Islamic fundamentalists Boko Haram

A deal has been reached to secure the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic militants in Nigeria, the country’s military and president claimed today.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s Principal Secretary Hassan Tukur said a ceasefire had been brokered with Boko Haram following talks.

Around 200 girls kidnapped six months ago from a school in the northeast town of Chibok may be released as part of the deal, he said.

Boko Haram negotiators ‘assured that the schoolgirls and all other people in their captivity are all alive and well,’ Mike Omeri, the government spokesman on the insurgency, told a news conference.

Boko Haram has been demanding the release of detained extremists in exchange for the girls.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2797324/kidnapped-nigerian-schoolgirls-freed-deal-islamic-fundamentalists-boko-haram-seized-200-teenagers.html

Boko Haram shoots son to former Nigeria President

The son of Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has been shot and wounded in a battle with militant Islamists, according to reports from the ex-leader’s aide.

Lt Col Adeboye Obasanjo was injured as the army fought to recapture the north-eastern town of Michika from Boko Haram.

Read more : http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29125074

Nigerian troops cross border after Boko Haram clashes

Some 480 Nigerian soldiers have crossed into Cameroon following fierce fighting with Boko Haram militants.

Reports claimed that the troops had joined thousands of citizens fleeing the fighting, but Nigeria said they were conducting a “tactical manoeuvre”.

Clashes are said to be continuing in the border town of Gamboru Ngala.

Boko Haram on Sunday released a video claiming that it had established an Islamic state in the towns and villages it controls in north-eastern Nigeria.

The group’s five-year insurgency has intensified in recent months despite the deployment of thousands of extra troops to the worst-affected areas.

READ MORE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28927898

Boko Haram abduct dozens of boys in northeast Nigeria: witnesses

(Reuters) – Suspected Islamist Boko Haram fighters have abducted dozens of boys and men in a raid on a remote village in northeast Nigeria, loading them onto trucks and driving them off, witnesses who fled the violence said on Friday.

The kidnappings came four months after Boko Haram, which is fighting to reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok. They are still missing.

Several witnesses who fled after Sunday’s raid on Doron Baga, a sandy fishing village near the shores of Lake Chad, said militants clothed in military and police uniforms had burned several houses and that 97 people were unaccounted for.

READ MORE: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/15/us-nigeria-violence-idUSKBN0GF0U920140815