Boko Haram attack in Nigeria's Baga town displaces 3,200

Lagos: At least 3,200 people were displaced in the Nigerian state of Borno after attacks by Boko Haram militants last week in the town of Baga, Nigeria's emergency management agency said Monday.The National Emergency Management
boko haram attack in nigeria s baga town...
IANS 13 Jan 2015, 09:14 AM IST

Lagos: At least 3,200 people were displaced in the Nigerian state of Borno after attacks by Boko Haram militants last week in the town of Baga, Nigeria's emergency management agency said Monday.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of Nigeria has despatched a team to strengthen humanitarian support to those displaced from Baga, following the attacks, Xinhua reported, citing the agency's spokesperson, Manzo Ezekiel.

Boko Haram militants seized a military base in Baga Jan 3, forcing residents to flee to neighbouring countries. The militants attacked again Wednesday and fighting in Baga continued Friday.

"The attack on Baga and surrounding towns, looks as if it could be Boko Haram's deadliest..." Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for the Amnesty International, said in a statement, according to a report last week.

"If reports that the town was largely razed to the ground and that hundreds or even as many as two thousand civilians were killed are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram's ongoing onslaught against the civilian population," Eyre added.

According to NEMA's Ezekiel, the agency registered 3,200 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Baga, who are now in Maiduguri, the capital of the Borno state and are being provided with basic support in collaboration with the host government.

The creation of a new camp brings to 11, the number of camps where NEMA has been supporting the IDPs with food and non-food items, Ezekiel added.

He said that the other IDPs in the camps were from towns and villages in the state, who were previously displaced by the insurgency.

The conflict in northeastern Nigeria led to the exodus of 135,000 people and at least 850,000 people were displaced within Nigeria, the UN Refugee Agency said in a report.

Over 10,000 people were killed last year alone in Boko Haram attacks, according to the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations.

More than a million people are displaced inside Nigeria and hundreds of thousands have fled across its borders into Chad and Cameroon.

The Boko Haram has been a major security threat in Nigeria since 2009.

Nigeria's neighbour Cameroon, on the other hand, has also been the target of Boko Haram attacks.

In one such attack Monday, a Cameroonian soldier was killed by the militants in Cameroon's Far-North Region bordering Nigeria, according to another Xinhua report.

In response to the ambush, the Cameroonian army claimed to have destroyed 15 vehicles used by the militants and killed some attackers as well, but the number of the militants killed was not clear.

In late July last year, the wife of Cameroonian Vice Premier, Amadou Ali, was kidnapped along with 16 others by militants in Kolofata in the country's Far-North Region.

They were released later along with 10 Chinese hostages kidnapped earlier by the militant group.

On Jan 5, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau warned in a video posted on Youtube that the same fate awaited Cameroon as neighbouring Nigeria if it did not stop attacking the militants.

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