Boko Haram claims Baga massacre

Published January 21st, 2015 - 02:31 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

The alleged leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred earlier this month, in a video footage, AFP reported on Tuesday.

In the video Shekau taunted the leaders of Nigeria’s neighboring nations, challenging Nigerian and regional forces to attack him.

“We killed the people of Baga; we indeed killed them,” he was quoted as saying in the report. “Kings of Africa, you are late. I challenge you to attack me even now. I am ready.”

The reported video footage also displayed an array of weapons believed to have been seized by the terrorists from a Nigerian military base in the neighboring town of Doron Baga.

Although the authenticity of the video has not yet been verified, reports say it is in typical Boko Haram style, with its leader in combat fatigues, surrounded by masked militants.

The Boko Haram militants attacked Baga and Doron Baga earlier in January. Press reports based on witness accounts estimate that as many as 2,000 people died in the carnage but Nigerian authorities have disputed the figure, putting the toll at only 150.

Satellite images released by UK-based rights group Amnesty International showed massive destruction in Baga and Doron Baga, with nearly 3,700 buildings damaged or destroyed.

The surge of violence in Nigeria has alarmed neighboring nations, especially Cameroon.

Authorities from countries of the area met in Niger’s capital of Niamey on Tuesday to discuss a regional response to Boko Haram. One suggestion coming out of the talks is the establishment of a new force, potentially under the auspices of the African Union, to deal with the notorious militants.

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