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Boko Haram unrest: Nigerian militants ‘kidnap 100 villagers’

He said that suspected Boko Haram militants had seized young men, women and children from Gumsuri village.

The attack happened on Sunday but news has only just emerged, after survivors reached the city of Maiduguri.

Meanwhile, Cameroon’s army says it has killed 116 Nigerian militants who had attacked one of its bases, AFP reports.

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Residents told the BBC the armed militants attacked the border town of Amchide on Wednesday, arriving in two vehicles with many others on foot.

They raided the market area, setting fire to shops and more than 50 houses.

No group has said it carried out either attack but officials have blamed Nigerian-based Boko Haram militants.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in militant violence this year alone, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, near the border with Cameroon.

Founded in 2002

Initially focused on opposing Western education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language.

Launched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic state thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria – also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, Abuja, some three million people affected, declared terrorist group by US in 2013.

The villagers who were kidnapped were from Gumsuri, not Bintiri, as was earlier reported by the BBC.

The survivor of the Gumsuri attack said that afterwards he returned to the village, about 70km (43 miles) south of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, and helped bury 33 bodies.

He said he went from house-to-house to ascertain how many people were missing.

His testimony was confirmed to BBC Hausa by a local official. Neither person wanted their names to be published.

An official told the AFP news agency that a vigilante group that had protected the village from previous attacks was overpowered.

“After killing our youths, the insurgents have taken away our wives and daughters,” a resident who fled to Maiduguri told AFP.

In Cameroon, the army said vehicles from its elite battalion had been caught in an ambush on Wednesday.

“At the same time… the Amchide military base was attacked by hundreds of fighters from the sect, but the response from our defence forces was instant and appropriate,” AFP quotes it as saying.

One Cameroonian soldier was killed and an officer is missing, it reports.

BBC Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says the kidnappings are yet another example of just how vulnerable the communities of north-east Nigeria are and how the military has not been able to offer sufficient protection, despite promises of a massive deployment of soldiers supported by the air force.

The military has had problems of indiscipline amid reports of soldiers being poorly equipped, he says.

On Wednesday a Nigerian court martial handed down death sentences to 54 soldiers who had refused to take part in an operation last August to recapture three town overrun by the militants.

The soldiers, who were found guilty of mutiny, had complained that they did not have the weapons needed to take on the jihadists.

Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency since 2009 and is seeking to create an Islamist state in north-eastern Nigeria.

Attacks have increased since three states – Borno, Adamawa and Yobe – were put under emergency rule more than 18 months ago.

The kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok in Borno state in April sparked international outrage.

Despite military assistance from countries such as China, France, the UK and US, the girls have not yet been rescued.






 

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