The Islamic Extremist group Boko Haram is closing in on the northeast capital Maiduguri of the Borno state in Nigeria, residents said on September 5.
After Boko Haram has terrorized and seized towns along the way, the group now has almost complete control of Nigeria’s north-east corner. The extremists attacked Bama, the second-largest city in Borno and just over 70 kilometers to Maiduguri, on Monday and have been on a rampage ever since.
The Guardian reported that bodies litter the streets of Bama and said there have been reports that Boko Haram, though having mercy on women and children, killed any man they found and kidnapped some teenage boys.
Soldiers have told that “they are outnumber and outgunned by Boko Haram.”
Soldiers have been having their families evacuate Maiduguri and an estimated 600 soldiers have fled to neighboring Cameroon for refuge.
An estimated 1.5 million Nigerians have been affected by Boko Haram making its way to Maiduguri, aid and human rights workers said.
Boko Haram was founded in 2002, launching military operations in 2009. The Islamic Extremist group was initially focused on rejecting western education. Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language.
The group’s aim is to overthrow the government and make a purely Islamic state. In 2009, Boko Haram began attacking police stations and various government buildings in Maiduguri, leading to shoot-outs and group followers fleeing the city.
In 2013, the Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the three states that had the largest support for Boko Haram- Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. In the same year, the United States declared Boko Haram a terrorist group.
Boko Haram came under the international spotlight when more than 200 school girls were taken by the group; the whereabouts of most are still unknown.
— Kori Withers