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Islamist attack kills 125 in northeast Nigeria

Understanding Nigeria's Boko Haram

By Lanre Ola

(Reuters) - The latest big Islamist attack in Nigeria has killed least 125 people, police said on Wednesday after gunmen rampaged through a town in the northeast, near the Cameroon border.

Details emerging of the scale and ferocity of Monday's massacre in Gamburu underscore how far Nigerian security forces are from protecting civilians in a region where U.S. experts are preparing to help find and free 200 abducted schoolgirls.

Scores of gunmen whom police suspect were from Boko Haram, the al Qaeda-linked group that seized the girls in the same region last week, surrounded Gamburu before dawn on Monday. They sprayed automatic gunfire around the market town, which was crowded with traders gathering before the heat of the day.

Witnesses said they burned down houses and, in some cases, slit people's throats. A police officer assessing the scene on Wednesday said the death toll had reached at least 125.

Demanding an Islamic state, Boko Haram has been fighting in the northeast for five years but attracted renewed global attention last month with the abduction of girls taking exams in the village of Chibok, also in the south of Borno state.

This week, the United States said Nigeria had accepted an offer of military and civilian experts to locate and recover the 200 or so captives. Britain is also sending a small team and France has also offered assistance.

The international attention has added to pressure on the government to show it is working to protect civilians. Police offered a $300,000 reward on Wednesday for tip-offs, listing six phone numbers for anyone with "credible information" to call.

The kidnappings and numerous other attacks by Boko Haram have overshadowed Nigeria's hosting of a World Economic Forum, starting in the capital Abuja on Wednesday. Nigerian officials had hoped the event would draw attention to the potential of Africa's biggest economy as an investment destination.


A witness to the Gamburu attack, Talatu Sule, said she survived by hiding at home with her children. Afterwards, she went out with the police team to see the devastation.

"I counted 85 dead before I lost interest in counting. This is horrible," she told Reuters by telephone. "They burned vehicles, cars and 17 trailers loaded with cows and grains in the market."

A police source said there may be more bodies beyond the town in the bush or in the rows of charred houses.

Public anger mounted after locals on Tuesday said another eight girls had been seized from the same remote northeastern area by suspected members of the group.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has threatened in a video to sell the girls abducted on April 14 from a secondary school in Chibok "on the market".

Last month's kidnapping occurred on the day a bomb blast, also claimed by Boko Haram, killed 75 people on the outskirts of Abuja, the first attack on the capital in two years. Another bomb in roughly the same place killed 19 people last week.

President Goodluck Jonathan welcomed the U.S. offer to send an American team to Nigeria to support the government's efforts to find the girls.

U.S. President Barack Obama said the kidnappings "may be the event that helps to mobilize the entire international community to finally do something against this horrendous organization that's perpetrated such a terrible crime".

(Additional reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Giles Elgood and Alastair Macdonald)

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varivig May 08 2014 at 9:43 AM

Lets see, another lovely atrocity by the "Religion of Peace". Wake up you stupid citizens of the world. Islam is not a religion, it is a cult. And one that believes in subjugation of women, killing, pedophilia, and rape as a way of live. Time to stamp it out.

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1 reply
gibby1208 varivig May 08 2014 at 10:17 AM

That "cult" is older than Christianity and holds the same values.

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tammysleethdavis May 08 2014 at 10:44 AM

These people are hiding behind the face of "Islamic Extremists", they are thugs,
murderers, and thieves. They don't care about the Muslim religion they have no
religion they only care about what they want. Power and money. Especially POWER.

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barryoslama May 08 2014 at 10:47 AM

I bet the oBam-A administration WON'T call this a TERRORIST ATTACK!
But I would!

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barryoslama May 08 2014 at 10:49 AM

I Bet Barry oBamA won't call this a TERRORIST ATTACK!
But I Would!

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2 replies
takyoueddine barryoslama May 08 2014 at 11:00 AM

Just for you information, Muslims are the first victims of these terrorist attacks. These groups who have nothing to do with Islam, are heavily funded by non-Muslim countries who are former colonization forces. Namely France for this particular case and also for the case of Algeria (another Muslim country) who struggled with these people coming from Afghanistan when they fought the Soviet Union (funded by the US and it's allies (hint: Saudi Arabia)) each for their own agenda. Algeria struggled for over 13 years of bloody war with these terrorist groups. I pray that almighty God bring peace to this country and the whole world.

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2 replies
rreed40148 takyoueddine May 08 2014 at 11:08 AM

Totall agree with you takyoueddine

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DisneyWalker takyoueddine May 08 2014 at 11:09 AM

So you are arguing that the kidnapping of the girls to be sold into slavery is done by France?

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FRANK barryoslama May 08 2014 at 11:17 AM


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1 reply
mclark2960 FRANK May 08 2014 at 12:51 PM

I'm voting for the crone in 2016

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schnooz1 May 08 2014 at 11:11 AM

Hmmmmm...I've got an idea...why don't we STOP LETTING THESE PEOPLE INTO OUR COUNTRY, and possibly help ourselves! Talk about surrounding yourself with the enemy! We've gone from putting people in camps to paying them to live in our country and giving them educations and health care!

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2 replies
Dianne & Ken schnooz1 May 08 2014 at 11:24 AM

Boy, you're right on about that. Just tells you how stupid the American people are. Oh that's right our youth cannot even bring up their math or reading scores but they can play football and basketball. Wonder how that's going to help when another country wants to take control over this one?????

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no1gum schnooz1 May 08 2014 at 11:38 AM

First, Boko Haram is in Nigeria. Second, we have enough homegrown terrorists in this country that we don't seem able to deal with.

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troyted May 08 2014 at 11:13 AM

The kidnappings are, of course, savage and cowardly, but Americans must be able to distinguish between extremist Muslims and the overwhelming other groups who do not indulge in horror, otherwise leaders like Netanyahu will use the violence perpetrated against one group of innocent civilians to justify his ethnic cleansing in Israel. Evil is evil! No one group ever had a monopoly on it.

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billcdaly May 08 2014 at 11:15 AM

It's always the Muslims.
The religion of peace and tolerance strikes again.
Where are the voices of the main stream Muslims speaking
out on this atrocity?
Where is Louis Farrakhan? Is his silence - approval?
Where are Jessie and Al - oh sorry, there can't be any money made here.

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1 reply
Camp Bulldog billcdaly May 08 2014 at 11:32 AM

Really??? This is not the time

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2 replies
Camp Bulldog Camp Bulldog May 08 2014 at 11:39 AM

They are speaking out....its just the Network news don't think you need to hear it.

Nice to have them deciding how smart you need to be...

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billcdaly Camp Bulldog May 08 2014 at 11:52 AM

If not now, when?

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steve May 08 2014 at 11:21 AM

Oh those little Muslims and their shenanigans. They just run around the world and bring us So much things to talk about . Just what would we do with out their little antics around the world. They have contributed so much to the world as a whole. And ya just got to love their out look on their religion faith. Being a man I'm kind of thing about converting to being a Muslim. I can marry a 13 year old, Keep her in the house all her life if I wish. When she goes out cover her face so no one really no's her. She cant drive, Or Vote, She has absolutely no human rights. And if she talks back or if she's getting a little to old with a weight problem <> NO problem <> All I would have to say is it thing she might have looked at another man, <> Better yet have a few buddy's beat her and rape her and then claim she is uncleansed and stone her with rocks until she is dead... Now that's what I call controlling the woman or women in you life.. Yep.. Just what would we do with out them..

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1 reply
mclark2960 steve May 08 2014 at 12:47 PM

steve , the new age is now 9 , please keep up with the whacky world of islam ,

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no1gum May 08 2014 at 11:25 AM

Maybe now the Nigerian government will deal with the terrorist group Boko Haram. I don't know what the US could do, we can't even handle terrorist groups in this country. Over and over again we have seen incidents of groups getting bigger and more militant, and then we try to deal with them. Nigeria doesn't have the laws that we have in the US. It seems to me that if the Nigerian government knew anything about this group when they first formed, they could have made these terrorists disappear.

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1 reply
Camp Bulldog no1gum May 08 2014 at 11:37 AM

You civilians give us permission to use special ops troops...turn loose of the law enforcement agencies... to clean up the US backyard...and you are willing to accept what you see...
then it will get done...

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1 reply
no1gum Camp Bulldog May 08 2014 at 12:02 PM

What is your point?

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Camp Bulldog May 08 2014 at 11:31 AM

Enough is enough...
the World powers need to take a break from their nonsense. Get their **** together...and go put these dogs out of their misery...

Even Al Qeada has spoken out against these dogs.

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