50 bodies recovered in Nigeriatown after Boko Haram attack

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50 bodies recovered in Nigeriatown after Boko Haram attack

Nigerian President Goodluck
Jonathan speaks at the opening
session at the World Economic
Forum in Abuja on May 8, 2014.
Nigeria's President Goodluck
Jonathan on May 8 said the
kidnapping of more than 200
schoolgirls by Boko Haram will mark
a key turning point in the battle
against the Islamists.
Photographed by:
Images, Postmedia News
BAUCHI, Nigeria — Residents of a
Nigerian town attacked by Boko
Haram criticized security forces for
failing to protect them despite
warnings that the Islamic militants
were nearby. At least 50 bodies
have been recovered, many horribly
burned, in the town.
The attack on Gamboru, in remote
northeastern Nigeria near the
border with Cameroon, is part of
the Islamic militants’ campaign of
terror that included the kidnapping
of teenage girls from a school, 276
of whom remain missing and
believed held by Boko Haram in the
vast Sambisa Forest in northeastern
The death toll from the Monday
afternoon attack in Gamboru was
initially reported by a senator to be
as many as 300, but a security
official said it is more likely to be
around 100. Some Gamboru
residents said bodies were
recovered from the debris of burned
shops around the town’s main
market, which was the focus of the
The bodies were found after the
market reopened on Wednesday as
health workers, volunteers and
traders searched for missing
people, said Gamboru resident
Abuwar Masta. He said most of the
bodies were burned beyond
recognition. Some of the victims
were traders from Chad and
Cameroon, he said.
“It seems they hid in the shops in
order not (to) be killed while
fleeing,” Masta said Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, several explosives
were thrown into the market.”
Masta and other traders said that
some villagers had warned the
security forces of an impending
attack after insurgents were seen
camping in the bush near
The kidnapping of the schoolgirls
on April 15 in the town of Chibok
have sparked accusations that the
Nigerian government is not doing
enough to stop the militants. Boko
Haram has killed more than 1,500
people so far this year as part of
their campaign to impose Islamic
law on Africa’s most populous
nation, which has 170 million
people equally divided between
Christian and Muslim.
Outrage over the missing girls and
the government’s failure to rescue
them brought angry Nigerian
protesters into the streets this
week, an embarrassment for the
government of President Goodluck
Jonathan which had hoped to
showcase the country’s emergence
as Africa’s largest economy as it
hosted the Africa meeting of the
World Economic Forum, the
continent’s version of Davos. That
meeting is ongoing in the Nigerian
capital, Abuja, which also has been
the scene recently of two bomb
blasts blamed on Boko Haram.
Jonathan said international support
for his country amid violent attacks
marks a setback for Islamist
militants who kidnapped more than
200 schoolgirls.
“Coming to support us here is a
major blow for the terrorists,”
Jonathan said at the meeting. “I
believe the kidnap of these girls
will be the beginning of the end for
terror in Nigeria.”
Nigeria’s military said in a
statement Thursday that the armed
forces are “focused on the task of
rescuing the abducted girls and
that the war on Boko Haram “will
be effectively prosecuted.”
On Thursday the prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court, Fatou
Bensouda, said acts such as the
mass abduction of girls “shock the
conscience of humanity” and could
constitute crimes that fall within
the jurisdiction of The Hague-based
“No stone should be left unturned
to bring those responsible for such
atrocious acts to justice either in
Nigeria or at the ICC,” she said in a
The homegrown terror group was
largely contained to the northern
part of Nigeria before expanding its
reach with the help of al-Qaida in
the Islamic Maghreb, the terrorist
network’s affiliate in West Africa,
which trained Boko Haram fighters
in its camps in southern Somalia,
beginning in 2010.
Although Boko Haram has killed
thousands of people — Christians
as well as Muslims — over the years
in a campaign of bombings and
massacres, the group’s mass
abduction of schoolgirls appears to
have galvanized global attention
and prompted offers of security
assistance from foreign countries to
help rescue the girls.
The U.S. announced on Tuesday it
was sending personnel and
equipment to help Nigerian security
Jonathan confirmed that he has
accepted the American assistance,
which the Pentagon said
Wednesday will include
communications, logistics and
intelligence planning, but will not
include any military operations.
Britain and China said Nigeria had
accepted their offers of help, and
France said it was sending in a
“specialized team” to help with
search and rescue of the girls.
The office of the United Nations
spokesman in New York said
Jonathan on Thursday accepted UN
chief Ban Ki-moon’s offer to send a
high-level representative to Nigeria
to discuss how the UN can support
efforts to tackle the country’s
“internal challenges.”

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