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Witnesses: Boko Haram militants slaughter hundreds


MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) - Boko Haram militants dressed as soldiers slaughtered at least 200 civilians in three villages in northeastern Nigeria and the military failed to intervene even though it was warned that an attack was imminent, witnesses said on Thursday.

A community leader who witnessed the killings on Monday said residents of the Gwoza local government district in Borno state had pleaded for the military to send soldiers to protect the area after they heard that militants were about to attack, but help didn't arrive. The killings occurred in Danjara, Agapalwa, and Antagara.

Boko Haram 'Tricked Villagers'

"We all thought they were the soldiers that we earlier reported to that the insurgents might attack us," said a community leader who escaped the massacre and fled to Maiduguri, Borno state capital.

The militants arrived in Toyota Hilux pickup trucks - commonly used by the military - and told the civilians they were soldiers "and we are here to protect you all," the same tactic used by the group when they kidnapped more than 300 girls from a school in the town of Chibok on April 15.

After people gathered in the center on the orders of the militants, "they begin to shout 'Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar' on top of their voices, then they begin to fire at the people continuously for a very long time until all that gathered were all dead," said the witness who didn't want to be named for fear for his safety.

The slaughter was confirmed by both Mohammed Ali Ndume, a senator representing Borno and whose hometown is Gwoza, and by a top security official in Maiduguri who insisted on anonymity because he isn't allowed to speak to the media.

It took a few days for survivors to get word of the massacres to Maiduguri, the provincial capital, because travel on the roads is extremely dangerous and phone connections are poor or nonexistent.

The community leader wasn't shot because "I was going round to inform people that the soldiers had come and they wanted to address us," he said. As people were fleeing, other gunmen lurked outside the villages on motorcycles and mowed them down, he said.

Militants of Boko Haram, which wants to establish Islamic state in Nigeria, have been taking over villages in the northeast, killing and terrorizing civilians and political leaders as the Islamic fighters make a comeback from a year-long military offensive aimed at crushing them. The death toll from Monday's attacks is among the highest. Thousands of people have been killed in the 5-year-old insurgency, more than 2,000 so far just this year, and an estimated 750,000 Nigerians have been driven from their homes.

Nigeria's military has insisted that the big influx of troops and a year-old state of emergency in three states which gives them the power to detain suspects, take over buildings and lock down any area has the extremists on the run. But soldiers have told The Associated Press that they are outgunned and outnumbered by the insurgents, don't have bullet-proof vests, are not properly paid and have to forage for food.

And while Boko Haram has in large part been pushed out of cities in the northeast, the militants have been seizing villages with thatched-roof huts in the semi-arid region where they once held sway, boldly staking their claim by hoisting their black flags with white Arabic lettering, the AP reported this week.

The villages attacked on Monday are in the Gwoza local government, a regional political center whose emir was killed in a Boko Haram ambush on his convoy last week. Emirs are religious and traditional rulers who have been targeted for speaking out against Boko Haram's extremism.

Borno Gov. Kashim Shettima traveled on Saturday to Gwoza to pay his respects to the fallen emir and was quoted as saying it was a terrifying ride.

"If I say I was not petrified travelling through that ... road to Gwoza I would be lying because that road had been designated a no-go area for about two months now due to the incessant attacks and killings that occur there," the governor was quoted as saying by Information Nigeria, a web site. A local journalist who was in the convoy that was escorted by 150 soldiers counted at least 16 towns and villages that were deserted along the 135 kilometer (85 mile) route, according to the local media report.

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bobcornerstone June 05 2014 at 11:33 AM

This is not our problem, let Oprah take care of it, she is rich beyond her years anyway.

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3 replies
tbplayer44 June 05 2014 at 11:58 AM

But Hillary and Barry told us these were not violent people, Boko Haram. They even refused to place them on a Watch List. This story cannot be true. Obama & Co, would never deceive us!

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7 replies
Phyllis June 05 2014 at 11:37 AM

Bring our soldiers back home, we do not need to be training no frickin African army when we do not even know who the hell they are!!!!~

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2 replies
Sean Johannson Phyllis June 05 2014 at 11:53 AM

inbred much ???

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2 replies
laptop603 Sean Johannson June 05 2014 at 2:09 PM

That makes no sense. What are you saying? That we do need to train them? What... or are you just here to insult?

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onionson Sean Johannson June 05 2014 at 3:22 PM

I think he is saying we need to train them AND wanted to insult her. Can't you read? She inferred WE don't know who they are so we must be idiots. Sean's reply was a bit harsh but not far off point.

Both sides can make good arguments about whether or not we should be there and the best arguments come from those smart enough to know who they are.

Flag 0 rate up
jwfoust Phyllis June 05 2014 at 3:32 PM

Phyllis, put down the bottle. People are being killed. Or does that not compute on your end?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
moaber June 05 2014 at 11:23 AM

Tribal is as tribal does....its been the history of the Africans since the beginning, and will be till the end.

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1 reply
brenhatestwinkie moaber June 05 2014 at 11:48 AM

you missed europe!

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1 reply
doketx brenhatestwinkie June 05 2014 at 2:22 PM

Europe grew out of it. Africa has not.

Flag +1 rate up
petpetdon June 05 2014 at 11:39 AM

Obama stay the hell out of Nigeria. Let them fight their own battles.

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Lynn June 05 2014 at 11:33 AM

This is a heinous act to innocent people. They hide behind clothing that hides them, including their faces, like the cowards they really are! Our entire world has gone to hell and has no morals anymore, least of all love and respect for God's creation! Pretty soon hell will be more full than Heaven!

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5 replies
bshiplar1 June 05 2014 at 1:20 PM

None of the villagers possessed firearms. Gee, that worked out really well for them didn't it.

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1 reply
jwfoust bshiplar1 June 05 2014 at 3:34 PM

Seemed to work out well for those who were killed in the base attacks in the US as well. Do you have a point?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
bshiplar1 jwfoust June 05 2014 at 3:51 PM

The point is obvious. Unarmed people can and often will be easily murdered.

Flag +3 rate up
alex jwfoust June 06 2014 at 12:47 AM

im in the Marines , you do know we arnt allowed to carry firearms on our person right?

Flag 0 rate up
karen and pitts June 05 2014 at 11:55 AM

apparently they missed the clowns that are sending me crap about needing money and being an ambassador and all. shame they couldn't have gotten into the internet boiler room and thinned them clowns out

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
sylvabugg2 karen and pitts June 05 2014 at 12:15 PM

Oh yeah, I'm always getting emails from some Nigerian claiming to be a long lost relative, I'm white, and that they've got some inheritance money for me. lol

Flag Reply +4 rate up
dorc792 karen and pitts June 06 2014 at 12:50 AM

ah..........ethnic cleansing is alive

Flag Reply 0 rate up
pboucard50 June 05 2014 at 12:38 PM

I love the picture of the 5 Africans presidents: Issoufou, Biya, Jonathan, Itno and Yayi with the dumb look on their faces, listening to French President Francois Hollande. 5 not-so-bright negroes who look like they failed lunch at school and 1 smart white man. God must be somewhere, banging his head on a celestial wall, crying, wondering how he created so many idiots.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
Heyrobert pboucard50 June 05 2014 at 4:39 PM

If he is not, he will be.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Brother Bob pboucard50 June 05 2014 at 6:13 PM

yup and you're on the list of idiots

Flag Reply +2 rate up
tcellguru June 05 2014 at 10:54 AM

Nothing anyone can do, it's their problem, and they say they have it under control, still sad though.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
pboucard50 tcellguru June 05 2014 at 12:43 PM

There is something the world can do ! Stop selling them Toyotas ! "The militants arrived in Toyota Hilux pickup trucks "-

Flag Reply +3 rate up
4 replies
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