Nigeria: (Voice of the Persecuted) While Christians were celebrating Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ, suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked Kimba village and started shooting and set homes and shops ablaze. Witnesses claim the village was burnt to the ground. 15 were killed in the attack and 7 people abducted. Located in Borno state, Kimba is a herding and farming community, 150 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the state capital. Hundreds in the community fled to the nearby town of Biu and now staying in a packed refugee camp to escape the notorious jihadists.
Boko Haram was listed as the most deadly terror group in 2014. Their mission, to enforce a strict adherence to Sharia (Islamic law) in North Nigeria and beyond, wiping out anyone who stands in their way. The militants endorse and aligned themselves with the brutal ISIS group terrorizing Iraq and Syria, but some question the collaboration. For years, Christian leaders have warned of the jihadis mission to eliminate Christianity from the north, as Christians were being singled out in attacks. Rev. Fr. Gideon Obasogie who is the Social Communications Director of the Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri had shared, “It is quite clear that terrorism has no friend, but it is abundantly clear that the Christians are worst hit.”
The Boko Haram is being blamed for an attack on Sunday in the Borno State capital city, Maiduguri. Further suicide bombings rocked the restive area on Monday.
Vanguard News reported, Sunday’s attack was part of a wider assault on Maiduguri, the capital of northeastern Borno state, a few short days before Nigerian President Buhari’s self-imposed deadline to eradicate the militants expires on December 31.
Mohammed Kanar, head of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the region, told AFP that 21 people had died and 91 were injured when jihadists stormed Jiddari Polo, on the outskirts of Maiduguri, at around 6:30 pm (1730 GMT), shooting guns and unleashing waves of young suicide bombers.
Further attacks rocked the city on Monday, leaving at least one person dead.
“There have been more than a dozen suicide blasts in Maiduguri between last night and this morning,” Babakura Kolo, a civilian vigilante assisting the military in fighting Boko Haram, said to AFP.
“The suicide attacks were carried out by young suicide bombers who managed to make their way into the city during the gun battle between soldiers and Boko Haram gunmen last night.”
Among the victims was the family of a local chief in Dawari village near Jiddari Polo who were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade understood to have been fired by Boko Haram fighters. 21 people had died and 91 were injured
Boko Haram Islamists have made several attempts to retake Maiduguri —- the birthplace of the jihadist movement -— since they were pushed out three years ago.
On Monday, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a market near a busy bus station in the town of Madagali, in Adamawa State. 30 were killed and many injured. According to Brigadier General Victor Ezugu, the injured were evacuated to the 143 Rangers Battalion military facility in Madagali and the General Hospital in Mubi. Critical cases were moved to Yola for immediate attention.
20 also died in a bombing outside a mosque, Monday morning.
Though the group has lost areas they once controlled to the Nigerian Military, it’s apparent they still have the capacity to strike communities at will. Continuing their war for an independent Islamic state, they have resorted to using suicide bombers—many of them young girls. The latest attacks appear to be a slap to the face, challenging President Buhari who vowed to stop the group by the end of the year. Buhari declared last week that Boko Haram had been “technically” defeated, capable of no more than suicide bombings on soft targets.
Nigeria’s biggest threat has now spread their terror campaign into neighboring countries. A Multi-national task force was set up to stop the Boko Haram and end their terror campaign. Nigerians had high hopes the nightmare would soon be over and believed the multi-national joint task force (MNJTF) would be able to end the insurgency. But 6 months later, the 8,700 strong force seems to be collapsing, or has failed. Some wonder if the nations are simply incapable of working together, or if they even have an offensive plan.
Yan St-Pierre, terrorism analyst at Berlin-based Modern Security Consulting Group to AFP said, “Boko Haram is still extremely dangerous, and it’s gaining resources, notoriety, credibility and successfully expanding its reach. To be defeated, Boko Haram must no longer be in a position to kill and inspire people, and right now it can still easily do both.”
Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) is caring for internal refugees from Christian villages hardest hit by the Boko Haram. Many children reside at the camp, including those orphaned and woman made widows in the insurgency. Their needs are immense. Please consider supporting this mission to care for those suffering great physical and emotional trauma. VOP is on the ground in Nigeria, GO with us on the mission through your gifts.
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