AFRICA: Updates on Abuja Bombing, School Girls Kidnapping
Boko Haram Mayhem
The radical and violent Islamist group Boko Haram is claiming responsibility for a bus station bombing in Nigeria’s capital that killed 75 people last week, according to press reports.
“We are the ones who carried out the attack in Abuja,” Boko Haram’s leader — Abubakar Shekau — said in a video message obtained by the French news service, AFP on Saturday (April 19). The 28-minute video threatened future attacks with the ominous statement: “We are in your city but you don’t know where we are.” AFP reported.
Monday’s bombing in Abuja, which also injured 141 people, was the first attack in two years on Nigeria’s capital. The death toll is expected to rise, the Associated Press reported, as pathologists determine how many people were blown apart by the huge blast.
The Boko Haram video made no mention of the mass abduction of scores of high school girls from a school compound in turbulent northeast Nigeria. The Nigerian government and local officials in Borno state — where the school is located — have blamed Boko Haram.
Officials originally said all but 85 of the girls have escaped their abductors, but family members dispute those claims, saying 234 girls are missing, according to the AP.
The militant group, whose name is translated as either “Western education is sinful” or “Western education is forbidden,” in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria, has mounted numerous attacks on schools and students as well as churches and government facilities in a five-year campaign to have the largely northern part of Nigeria declared subject to Islamic, “sharia” law. Thousands have been killed in the conflict.
The bombing in the heart of Nigeria, hundreds of miles from Boko Haram’s strongholds has underscored the threat the terrorist group poses to Africa’s most populous nation and biggest economy and oil producer.
Entry filed under: Africa, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, News Developments, Unconventional Warfare. Tags: Africa, Boko Haram, Counter Insurgency, counter terrorism, Nigeria, Topics, Unconventional Warfare.