Boko Haram militants have almost entirely destroyed the major town of Baga, in northeastern Nigeria, with officials fearing as many as 2’000 people feared dead.
As many as 2’000 people are feared dead and many others injured after Boko Haram militants raided and destroyed the town of Baga.
The town, which had a population of around 10’000, is now reported nearly desolate. Boko Haram burnt down almost the entire town on Wednesday, after over-running a military base on Saturday, Musa Alhaji Bukar said.
Bodies, according to eyewitnesses, lay strewn on Baga’s streets, amid fears that some 2,000 people had been killed in the raids, Bukar said.
On Monday, lawmaker Maina Maaji Lawan said Boko Haram controlled 70% of Borno state, which is worst-affected by the insurgency. Those who fled reported that they had been unable to bury the dead, and corpses littered the town’s streets.
Boko Haram was effectively in control of Baga and 16 neighbouring towns, Mr Bukar said.
Government troops abandoned the military base in Baga on Saturday, when the militants launched an assault. The base had hosted the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), made up of troops from Nigeria, Chad and Niger, although it is believed that there were only Nigerian soldiers there at the time of the attack.
Boko Haram launched a military campaign in 2009 to create an Islamic state. The terrorist group has taken control of many towns and villages in north-eastern Nigeria in the last year. The conflict has displaced at least 1.5 million people, while more than 2,000 were killed last year – that figure feared to have already been reached in a single attack in 2015.