The tragic attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris have brought terrorism to the worldwide forefront. Lost in this news has been a tragedy that is taking place in the town of Baga in northeastern Nigeria. After overrunning the military base used by a multinational military force, Boko Haram (Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad) fighters are reported to have razed the town – burning it and killing the population with no mercy. Estimates range as high as 2,000 dead in what would be the largest massacre by this Islamist terrorist group. The attack started on January 3rd but details are still sketchy as the Nigerian government, which is in the midst of preparing for an upcoming presidential election, is keeping a very tight lid on information about this most recent Boko Haram attack and the ongoing security crisis they have been facing in the north.
“On 4 January we spoke to a man who had walked for two days through the bush, eventually getting a lift to the relative safety of the biggest city in the area, Maiduguri, on a lorry. “There was shooting from every corner of the headquarters of the multinational task force,” he tells me, adding that the exchange of fire lasted hours.
Then there are more testimonies from witnesses who say the military base was overpowered and then the gunmen started killing civilians in Baga town. But every witness we speak to is fleeing for their life. They are not hanging around Baga to check exactly what’s happening so it is hard to be sure we are getting facts.” (BBC News)