Photos have emerged on social media purportedly showing a Boko Haram-held child soldier indoctrination/training camp. The pictures in question, posted on a Boko Haram-supporting Twitter page, show young children in formation and aiming AK-47 rifles.
The U.S. State Department’s Think Again Turn Away Twitter page re-posted the photo, seemingly verifying its authenticity:
— Think AgainTurn Away (@ThinkAgain_DOS) January 27, 2015
Meanwhile, some 1.5 million Nigerians have become displaced due to Boko Haram’s Caliphate-seeking drive through the country, reports The Guardian. And the situation has only gotten worse with the jihadist group ramping up its terror campaign before the upcoming February 14 elections. Some have worried that three of Nigeria’s northeastern states, which are currently under a President-declared state of emergency, may not be able to provide a safe environment to hold elections.
Haruno Furo, an emergency management director, told The Guardian, “It’s difficult to even set any kind of target because there are thousands of displaced people coming in by the day. The funding isn’t sufficient because the numbers keep increasing.”
Meanwhile, Boko Haram has continued to attack new areas day in and day out. For the past couple weeks, the jihadist group has destroyed dozens of villages near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, killing countless innocents in the process. A local lawmaker explained the group’s ruthless methods to CNN: “They move house to house, killing people–including the old, abducting women, and children and burning homes. … They slaughter people like animals,” he said.
In early January, Boko Haram reportedly burned down several villages, killing an estimated 2,000 people during the raid. An official explained that a city that once had a population of 10,000 is now “virtually non-existent.”