Bloomberg News

Suspected Islamist Militants Kill 142 in Northeastern Nigeria

September 20, 2013

At least 142 corpses were found in a northeastern Nigerian town after an attack by suspected members of the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, local officials said.

“Yesterday alone 87 corpses were evacuated from the road and bushes,” Saidu Yakubu, a spokesman for the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency, said yesterday in a statement handed to reporters in Benisheik town.

Suspected militants dressed in military uniforms attacked the town on Sept. 17, burning at least 100 houses and shops in the raid, according to Garba Ngamdu, the head of labor affairs in the Borno state government. The raid followed a Sept. 7 attack on the town that left 11 civilians dead, according to local residents.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, has carried out gun and bomb attacks across Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north and the capital, Abuja, killing thousands of people since 2009 in its campaign to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria.

The West African nation’s population of more than 160 million people is roughly equally split between Christians, predominant in the south, and Muslims in the north.

President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in May to battle the insurgents.

The army killed 150 militants and lost 16 soldiers in a raid last week on a Boko Haram rebel base in the northeastern state of Borno, an army spokesman said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at gakingbule@bloomberg.net; Maram Mazen in Abuja at mmazen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nasreen Seria at nseria@bloomberg.net


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