The attacks began when the terror group took over Baga, a town near the northeastern front of Nigeria. After creating a military base, the group rampaged the villagers, launching rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on its people, killing over 2,000. Soon after, Boko Haram was suspected of strapping a bomb to a 10-year-old girl and detonating it at a marketplace in Maidugi, killing 10 and injuring many others.
While the initial attack was said to take place on Jan. 3, the same day the group took over Baga, disturbing images of burned bodies began to spread online. With little information known about the attacks, survivors have begun to speak out against Boko Haram and share their heart-wrenching tales of survival.
Yahaya Takakumi, a 55-year-old farmer, is still looking for his brother and children. The farmer told reporters that as he fled with one of his wives during the attack, he saw hundreds of people dead.
Huffington Post/AP reports:
“We saw dead bodies especially, on the islands of Lake Chad where fishermen had settled,” the newspaper quoted Takakumi as saying. “Several persons were killed there like insects.”
Ibrahim Gambo lost his wife and child.
The 25-year-old truck driver said he was part of a civilian militia that, bolstered by a belief that its fighters were protected from bullets by a magical charm, initially had success in resisting Boko Haram insurgents.
But the army told his militia group to pull back so that a military plane could attack Boko Haram forces, which then surrounded Baga when the plane didn’t arrive, Gambo said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“It is sad that our fortification charm became ineffective once we showed fear,” Gambo said.
“As we were running for our lives, we came across many corpses; both men and women, and even children,” he said. Some had gunshot wounds in the head and some had their legs bound and hands tied behind their backs, he said.
As officials attempted to tally the victims, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki condemned the massacre, which comes in the middle of the country’s national election.
“We urge Nigeria and its neighbors to take all possible steps to address the urgent threat of Boko Haram. Even in the face of these horrifying attacks, terrorist organizations like Boko Haram must not distract Nigeria from carrying out credible and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Nigerian people,” Psaki said in a statement from Washington.
Nigerian military officials announced 14 soldiers were killed, while 30 were wounded. They promised civilians they plan to bring “law, order and normalcy” to the area.
SOURCE: The Huffington Post | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc.