Nigerian Forces Counter-Attack Against Boko Haram; Hundreds of Deaths …

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Nigerian army have launched counter-attacks opposite Boko Haram militants holding a northeastern city where hundreds of civilians might have been slaughtered and thousands forced to flee, an central pronounced Friday.

The quarrel for a city of Baga is branch into one of a bloodiest in new months as a Nigerian supervision struggles to branch a debate of assault and apprehension that a Islamist organisation has waged in northeastern Nigeria.

Nigerian infantry were driven from a troops bottom in Baga on Jan 3 after an heated gunbattle. Officials pronounced that given then, militants have burnt down most of Baga and surrounding villages, call thousands to rush to islands in Lake Chad or a Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

A Nigerian supervision spokesman, Mike Omeri, pronounced Friday that confidence army have been intent in heated fighting and have been “actively posterior militants” given Baga was initial pounded Saturday. He pronounced Nigerian atmosphere force jets have also strike belligerent targets. 

Estimates of a series of civilians killed in a past week operation from several hundred to as many as 2,000. Baga district conduct Baba Abba Hassan told VOA a bulk of a murdering happened Saturday when Baga fell.

Maina Maaji Lawan, a senator who represents a district, told VOA during slightest 1,000 people in and around a city were killed.  

“Not anywhere in a hundreds. Not anywhere in a hundreds. we am really certain about that one,” he said. “Nobody is there to do a count though it is a catastrophic situation.”

He pronounced residents who transient told him militants emptied food stores and pharmacies before environment glow to a city again Wednesday. He pronounced during slightest 8 other circuitously villages and towns might have been raided this week.  

Survivors of a killings pronounced militants followed and killed residents journey into a bush. Other residents took canoes opposite Lake Chad or attempted to swim. Other survivors told VOA that supervision soldiers ran out of ammunition in a quarrel and had to flee.

“All of these places they have overran now completely,” Lawan said. “Completely… passed bodies are littering a streets and a forests in all these villages we am articulate about.”

In a phone talk from a interloper stay in Gouboua, Chad, Abubakar Umar pronounced he and many others had woken adult Saturday to a sound of gunfire entrance from a Baga suburb. As scores of people ran to a lake to shun a gunfire, he and several others rowed onto a H2O in a fisherman’s vessel and spent some-more than 24 hours on a water.

He pronounced one lady who had also transient to a interloper stay told him that a militants have collected all a women and children evidently to learn them how to read, though instead they started “marrying” a girls.

“By tiny girls we meant girls like 12, 13 or 14 years old. They don’t worry with a aged women, though any lady or lady they like, they will call on their colleagues and contend marry this one to me,” he said.

Some 7,000 civilians have been forced to rush to Chad over a past 10 days, according to a U.N. interloper agency.

Boko Haram grew out a small-scale transformation of Islamic teachers and students in northern Nigeria in a 1990s. By 2002, a organisation coalesced underneath a care of a charismatic reverend named Mohamad Yusuf. His murdering in 2009, and a aroused military crackdown, stirred a organisation to subterraneous and led to a debate of apprehension that has widespread via 3 northeastern states.

The assault this week came as campaigning for presidential and parliamentary elections got underway.  

President Goodluck Jonathan, who is using for re-election in a Feb vote, has come underneath clever critique for unwell to stop a Boko Haram onslaught.

VOA’s Ibrahim Ahmed in Washington and Kareem Haruna in Maiduguri, Nigeria contributed to this report.

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