The Nigerian military claims they successfully bombed two terrorist camps and killed 74 militants in the northeast region. The area is controlled by the radical Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, who are determined to cleanse Nigeria of the Western lifestyle and Christians.
The official name of the group is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati-Jihad, which means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.” The nickname is Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hasau language. The terrorist group was founded in 2002 but launched their first massive attack in 2009 in an attempt to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state. At first, they were focused on Western education, but their attacks have included Christians and civilians.
Nigerian officials say they killed 74 terrorists in the raid in Borno just outside the capital of Maiduguri. Two soldiers and many extremists were injured.
However, in the neighboring state of Yobe, terrorists attacked the capital Damaturu. They tore down three office buildings and the resulting shootout killed many terrorists and police officers. A spokesman said 35 extremists were killed and 25 were arrested. Government forces lost 17 soldiers and 10 officers. The entire state is under an indefinite 24-hour curfew and about 10,000 people are without running water.
In September, members of Boko Haram stormed the Yobe State College of Agiculture in the middle of the night and slaughtered over 50 students as they slept. Many schools in the area closed after the terrorists killed 29 students and a teacher on July 6. They burned most of them alive. Authorities say Boko Haram have killed over 1,700 people since 2010.
On Monday, Boko Haram blocked a highway near the Nigerian and Cameroon border and told drivers to exit their cars. A witness said the men shot and hacked innocent motorists to death until they were warned the military were on their way.
The group killed 10 Christians in December 2012 with guns and machetes as they slept and burned down their houses, according to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIEF). This is what they found from the past year:
- A total of 50 churches were bombed, burned or attacked, killing at least 366 people.
- Christians or people perceived to be Christians were attacked in 31 separate incidents, killing at least 166 people.
- Clerics or senior Islamic figures critical of Boko Haram were attacked in 23 separate incidents, killing at least 60 people.
- “Un-Islamic” institutions or persons engaged in “un-Islamic” behaviors were attacked in 21 separate incidents, killing at least 74 people.