Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Islamist militants chanting “Allahu akbar,” or “God is Great,” killed as many as 90 people in an attack on a mainly Christian village in northeastern Nigeria, witnesses said.
Adamu Isa, a villager, said as many as 200 suspected members of Boko Haram group participated in the attack that left as many as 90 residents dead. Bala Musa, 33, a farmer in the area, said by phone that more than 80 people were killed. The mobile phone of Borno state police commissioner Lawal Tanko, who confirmed the Feb. 15 attack in Izge village near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon yesterday, was switched off.
“Most of us were sleeping when all of a sudden we started hearing gunshots,” Isa said yesterday in a telephone interview. “They started shooting, killing everyone in sight, while many other residents were left critically injured.”
As many as 250 have died in this year in attacks in Borno state as Boko Haram, which is fighting to impose Shariah, or Islamic law, on Africa’s biggest oil producer, spreads its insurgency to outlying villages as the army cracks down on the group in cities.
“While attacks in urban centers of the region have declined, the violence has continued unabated and diffused to more remote parts of the northeast, despite repeated claims by Nigerian military officials that the military operations have been successful in degrading the sect’s capability,” Poole, U.K.-based risk consultancy Drum Cussac said today in e-mailed comments.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency on Borno and two other states last May. The U.S. State Department designated Boko Haram a “terrorist” organization in November.
Nigeria’s 170 million people are roughly divided between Christians, mainly in the south, and Muslims, mostly in the north.
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