Teachers take part in a rally to call for the release of
abducted schoolgirls held by Boko Haram and to demand
better security in Maiduguri. REUTERS/Joe Penney
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have shot dead 29 farm
workers as they tilled their fields in a village in the remote
northeast, a police source says.
The source at police headquarters for Borno state, in the
heart of the insurgency, said around 10 more people had been
wounded in Wednesday's attack on Chukku Nguddoa, in which
most of the village, including its grain store, were razed.
In the past two months, Boko Haram militants have stepped up
their five-year-old campaign to carve an Islamic state out of
religiously mixed Nigeria. They have relentlessly targeted
civilians, especially in the northeast, whom the military
seems helpless to protect.
Bomb attacks are growing more sophisticated, including two on
the capital Abuja last month, and massacres of villagers in
the area where Boko Haram is based are an almost daily
Militants killed 17 people in Alagarno village on Tuesday and
razed several houses to the ground.
Hours earlier, a double bomb blast in the central Nigerian
city of Jos had killed 118 people, according to the emergency
services, while men on motorbikes killed nine people in a
raid on the nearby village of Shawa on Monday.
While authorities suspect Boko Haram of carrying out all
these attacks, there have been no claims of responsibility.
The well armed militant group has no direct line of
communication with the Western press and its purported
leader, Abubakar Shekau, claims only occasional attacks -
including the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls from a
village last month - through videos circulated to local
US MILITARY HELP
Some of the 80 US troops deployed for a mission aiming to
rescue the school girls have already arrived in Chad,
Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren said on
The Islamists have killed thousands since launching an
uprising in 2009, mostly civilians, and a year-old military
offensive meant to wipe them out appears only to have
exacerbated the slaughter.
But the abduction of the schoolgirls has put the group in
world headlines as never before, as a global campaign to get
them freed has persuaded Western powers to take action in
support of Nigerian forces.
Nigerian teachers went on strike and staged rallies
nationwide on Thursday in protest against the kidnappings, as
well as the killing of 173 teachers by the insurgents over
President Goodluck Jonathan and the military were heavily
criticised in Nigeria for the slowness of their reaction to
the mass abduction, and last week Nigeria accepted help from
the United States, Britain, France and China to find the
As well as deploying personnel, the US military has been
flying unmanned surveillance aircraft over remote areas of
northeast Nigeria for two weeks, and last weekend the
Pentagon struck an agreement to enable it to share
intelligence directly with the Nigerian government.
Yet a rescue mission would be fraught with danger. Little has
been said in public about the girls' possible whereabouts or
whether any negotiations are going on behind the scenes to