Nigeria: Senseless Violence


October 9, 2012: The army has been more successful finding Boko Haram bases in the north but has continued to allow undisciplined and poorly led troops to attack civilians. This sort of violence is all too common when the troops suffer losses and cannot find the enemy. It's been a problem for a long time and the army has been unable to get all of its officers and NCOs onboard with the need to stop this sort of violence from happening in the first place.

October 8, 2012: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram set off a bomb next to an army patrol and killed seven troops. The surviving soldiers went on a rampage and killed at least 30 people (most or all of them civilians) and set fire to over a hundred buildings and some 40 vehicles.

October 7, 2012: In the northeast (Yobe State) an army raid killed a senior Boko Haram commander (in charge of combat operations). Another ten Boko Haram members were arrested and many weapons and other equipment was seized.

October 6, 2012: Near the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram attacked a market place and killed at least three people, including a Chinese man.

In the east (Taraba State) a bomb went off next to a TV station wounding eight people. Boko Haram was suspected, even though this is a mixed Christian/Moslem area.

October 5, 2012: In the Niger River Delta civilians seized four students and burned them to death. A video of the incident ended up on the Internet. Police arrested 13 people in response to the video. Such killings are usually vigilante justice for criminals the police won't go after.

Shell Oil Company declared force majeure (acts beyond their control) because recent oil thefts had damaged a key pipeline so badly that Shell will not be able to deliver the amounts of liquefied natural gas (LNG) it had agreed to ship. The force majeure clause gets Shell off the hook (for fines and such) if criminal activity interfered with moving the LNG. Two months ago Shell did the same thing for oil deliveries, and for the same reasons.

October 4, 2012: In the east (Taraba State) a bomb went off in a beer garden, killing one and wounding 14 others. Boko Haram was suspected, even though this is a mixed Christian/Moslem area.

October 1, 2012: In the northeastern town of Mubi (Adamawa State) a group of gunmen attacked a student residence of a local college and killed 22 students and three others. This took place over several hours and that was possible because the local cell phone system was down, partly because of recent Boko Haram attacks on cell phone towers. These killings were apparently not carried out by Boko Haram but by a student faction upset at losing a recent student government elections. Student politics in Nigeria often gets nasty like this, partly because student factions form along tribal lines and partly because a tradition of fatal student violence has developed over the decades.

Boko Haram announced that there would be no peace talks. Apparently some factions of Boko Haram want such talks, but the most senior Boko Haram leaders appear to have agreed that there will be no talks.

September 30, 2012: In the north (Zaria) Boko Haram apparently attacked a religious school run by a cleric critical of Boko Haram. Security forces intercepted the attackers and killed two of them but not before some bombs were set off, wounding three civilians.  

September 29, 2012: An immigration official was arrested and charged with working for Boko Haram. He confessed and named other officials who were also rounded up.

September 25, 2012: In the last week army raids in northeastern Adamawa State a senior Boko Haram leader was killed and 156 suspected terrorists arrested. Large quantities of weapons and bomb making equipment were seized. In nearby Damaturu gun battles with Boko Haram left 35 of the terrorists dead.

In Niger police arrested five Boko Haram suspects near the Nigerian border.




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