Nigeria: The Militias Are Massing


August 2, 2012: The army is providing equipment and advice to churches and mosques to assist in defeating terror attacks. Keeping suspicious vehicles away is important because Boko Haram is increasingly using car bombs. Meanwhile, a growing number of Christian leaders are calling for Christians to organize for self-defense. This is already happening to protect northern churches during prayer services. But now there is a call to form militias to defend Christian neighborhoods in the north and to seek out Boko Haram groups in the Christian south. The government is discouraging the formation of armed militias, but if the army and police cannot protect Christians in the north, those people will either defend themselves or flee to the Christian south.

Off the coast of the Niger River Delta, attacks on service boats (for offshore wells) are increasingly common. Usually the gunmen in speedboats just rob those on the service boats but occasionally they take someone to hold for ransom. The security forces do not have enough personnel for all those boats and it would be very expensive to put armed guards on all those boats, especially since only a very small percentage of boat trips are attacked.

July 31, 2012: Police arrested two of three men believed responsible for the attack on the vice president's compound in Zaria yesterday.

In the northeast, a combined operation with troops from neighboring Chad and Cameroon, police killed two Boko Haram who were smuggling in a large quantity of weapons from Chad. The destination was the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

July 30, 2012: In the north Boko Haram launched suicide bomb attacks on two police stations in Sokoto and an attack on the country estate of vice president of Nigeria Namadi Sambo in Zaria. The suicide bomb attacks killed the attackers and two policemen. One bystander was killed in the Zaria attack.

July 29, 2012: In the northern city eight people were killed during three incidents involving Boko Haram gunmen opening fire. Four of the dead were Boko Haram attackers.

July 28, 2012: In the north two shooting incidents left two policemen and two Boko Haram members dead.

July 27, 2012: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri a police raid killed two Boko Haram members and led to the arrest of 26 others. This operation was in response to a Boko Haram attack on a factory three days ago, where two Indian managers were killed and $600 was stolen.

July 26, 2012: In northeastern Bauchi State Boko Haram gunmen killed three policemen at a highway checkpoint.


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