Boko Haram kills 8 in Niger and Nigeria

Brutal Boko Haram raids in villages in both Niger and Nigeria kill at least 8 people over weekend

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Fire burns as the Nigerian Army engages Boko Haram forces near Damasak, close to the border with Cameroon, in Borno State, Nigeria, November 8, 2015. Picture taken November 8, 2015.

Boko Haram killed eight people on Saturday and Sunday in northeast Nigeria and southeastern Niger, in brutal rampages that saw houses burnt down and villagers kidnapped.

The militant group attacked Bam-Buratai, in Nigeria's Borno state, the Diffa region of Niger on Saturday, and Gulak, in Nigeria's Adamawa on Sunday. The attacks were hit-and-run raids.

Gulak, some ‎200 kilometers north of the state capital Yola, has been hit by Boko Haram attacks several times. The group launched its worst attack on the town in September 2014, where fighters went door-to-door‎ shooting residents and burning homes.

Boko Haram has sworn alleigiance to the terrorist group DAESH and became its wing in Sub Saharan Africa. The group has been slowly pushed back in the face of a sustained counter-offensive by the Nigerian Army in rural areas.

Nigerian Army soldiers waiting as they attack a Boko Haram position in the Gubio government area of Borno State, Nigeria, November 8, 2015.

Nigerian Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman confirmed the attack in Bam-Buratai to Agence France Presse and said the residents who fled the gunmen arrived on bicycles and on foot at about 11:00 pm (2200 GMT).

"The attackers were shooting indiscriminately and throwing explosives into homes," said one local, who asked not to be identified, from the town of Biu, 20 kilometers (13 miles) away.

"They shot dead three people and burnt another to death in his home before abducting two women and three children and driving them away in the two vehicles to they took from the village."

The home of Nigeria's chief of staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, is actually near the recently attacked village. Buratai’s village itself was once attacked in September 2014 and 20 people were killed then.

When newly elected Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari came to office earlier this year, he vowed there would a tighter crackdown on the militant group that has killed hundreds of Nigerians since it began its attacks in 2009.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari presents Lance Corporal Kenneth Kulugh with the Purple Heart medal for gallantry in the fight against Boko Haram during his visit to Nigerian troops in Yola, Adamawa, Nigeria November 13, 2015

Former Nigerian president Goodluck Johnathan was accused of not doing enough to counter the threat of Boko Haram, which has carried out many kidnappings and suicide bombing attacks in Nigeria as well as neighbouring states.

In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 219 women and young girls from the Borno town of Chibok. Some have managed to escape, but efforts to bring them back have largely failed.

Attacks by Boko Haram have left at least 17,000 people dead and made more than 2.6 million others homeless.

TRTWorld and agencies