Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

"I will not yield" - Fillon defiant despite deepening 'fake jobs' probe (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

"I will not yield" - Fillon defiant despite deepening 'fake jobs' probe (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Trainspotting T2', 'Fences', 'This Is Our Land'

Read more

FOCUS

The return of Japan's imperialists

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Don't be fooled by 'Optimistic Trump''

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi: putting arab art in the spotlight

Read more

THE DEBATE

Fillon, Le Pen cry 'witch hunt' over corruption probes (part 1)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump's speech fails to impress markets

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

UNICEF report : Women and child migrants raped, beaten and detained in Libyan 'hellholes'

Read more

Africa

Suspected Islamist rebels raid northeast Nigerian town

© afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-19

Suspected Boko Haram Islamists attacked a town in Nigeria's troubled northeast early on Wednesday, the military said, sparking a firefight with security forces.

Defence ministry spokesman Chris Olukolade said that the early morning attack in the town of Bama may have involved multiple suicide blasts, but that no casualty figures were immediately available.

"The attackers came from various locations," Olukolade said. "We believe that there were suicide bombers among them. They used bombs during the operation [and] attacked one of our tanks."

Olukolade said "many" of the attackers were killed when Nigerian troops repelled the raid, but he did not know how many casualties had been suffered by civilians or the security forces.

Bama is about 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, which is the stronghold of the Boko Haram rebels who have killed thousands during a four-and-half year insurgency aimed at establishing sharia, or Islamic, law in the country.

A police spokesman said details about the attack had been difficult to obtain because of the poor phone network. The mobile phone network in Borno is patchy and calls to Bama area residents were not going through on Wednesday.

The latest violence came just a day after a presidential spokesman said Nigeria was winning the war against Boko Haram Islamists in the restive northeast, dismissing suggestions the insurgents were gaining the upper hand.

"We state authoritatively without any fear or equivocation whatsoever that Nigeria is already winning the war against terror and the activities of the insurgents will be terminated within the shortest possible time," Doyin Okupe told reporters in Abuja on Tuesday.

Violence moves northeast

Boko Haram has said it is fighting to create a strict Islamic state in the mainly Muslim north of oil-rich Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

Since 2009 the group has carried out attacks across the north and centre of the country, but the violence has in recent months been concentrated in the northeast, the region where Boko Haram was founded more than a decade ago.

More than 200 people have been killed so far in 2014 in Borno state alone.

In the village of Izghe on Saturday, suspected Boko Haram gunmen went door-to-door, dragging residents outside before slaughtering them.

Borno's Governor Kashim Shettima said 106 people were killed in Izghe and declared that the military cannot defeat the insurgents unless more troops and military hardware are deployed to the northeast immediately.

The region has been under a state of emergency since May, when the military launched a major offensive to quash the uprising. But security forces have struggled to contain the violence, which has affected both remote towns and state capitals.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


 

Date created : 2014-02-19

  • NIGERIA

    Nigerian president signs anti-gay law

    Read more

  • NIGERIA

    French hostage 'escaped' captors in Nigeria

    Read more

  • Nigeria

    Scores of bodies in Nigerian morgue after Islamist raid

    Read more

COMMENT(S)