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Thousands flee after latest Boko Haram attack

By AFP | Aug 25, 2014 | COMMENTS [ 11 ]

Scores of heavily armed Boko Haram fighters on Monday attacked military and police stations in the Nigerian town of Gamboru Ngala on the Cameroon border, forcing thousands to flee, residents said.

The town in Nigeria's extreme northeast was almost entirely destroyed in an Islamist attack in May that killed more than 300 people and locals have voiced outrage at being left defenceless by the military.

The latest insurgent violence comes after Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau declared that the town of Gwoza -- southwest of Gamboru Ngala in the same Borno state -- was now under an Islamic caliphate.

Residents told AFP that Monday's attack began at roughly 5:30 am (0430 GMT), with the extremists launching coordinated strikes on the main police station and a military base known as the Harmony camp.

"The sounds (of gunfire) became more deafening as police and soldiers responded to Boko Haram," said witness Hamisu Lawan. "Most of our people have fled into Cameroon."

Cameroon on August 18 said it had closed its vast border with Nigeria to guard against the spread of Ebola.

But few believed the country had the resources needed to seal all crossings along the roughly 1,600 kilometre (1,000 mile) frontier.

Another Gamboru Ngala resident said the battle was ongoing and locals had locked themselves indoors.

The insurgents "have for now focused attention on the police station and the military camp but our fear is that once they overrun them they will turn to us," he told AFP.

Local officials and residents in Borno say Boko Haram may be in control of a key road which connects Gamboru Ngala to the state capital Maiduguri.

Establishing which parts of the area have in fact fallen into rebels hands is difficult in the remote region.

Shekau's claim concerning Gwoza, made in a video message obtained by AFP on Sunday, has been rejected by the military.

Defence spokesman Chris Olukolade said Nigeria's sovereignty remains intact but that assertion is in conflict with multiple reports indicating that Boko Haram controls several towns in Borno and at least one in neighbouring Yobe state.

The Islamists are blamed for more than 10,000 deaths in a five-year uprising but the violence has reached unprecedented levels this year.

COMMENTS [ 11 ]

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Mshovekahle

Why are they scared of thid Boko Haram

Aug 25, 2014 1:30 | 1 replies

Hutton

eish Mshove, kunzima ndoda

Aug 25, 2014 4:6 | 0 replies

Mzabalazo

Because the government cannot defeat it, it is powerful, it uses guerrilla tactics, it also supported by few of the powerful Moslem countries, it is a Moslem government in exile, even Gaddafi supported the secession of the Northern Nigeria for the establishment of a Moslem country. Boko Haram like the Al Shabab of Somalia are here to stay.

Aug 25, 2014 1:43 | 0 replies

Dkok

as a kid I always said if i fail to make it big, i was going to be a fake witch doctor, or a fake pastor or a rebel.

Aug 25, 2014 1:49 | 1 replies

ytieduniS

Pirate for me.

Aug 25, 2014 2:0 | 1 replies

Dkok

no big seas for me, still get the jibies watching deep ocean waves

Aug 25, 2014 2:11 | 0 replies

IndigenousNconservative

So how did you make it big

Aug 25, 2014 2:10 | 1 replies

Dkok

not big yet, but the scraps r enough to make ends meet. got a plan?

Aug 25, 2014 2:20 | 0 replies

seg1984

Aish, God must give des bustards EBOLA...IT MUST SWIP ALL OF BOKO HARAM GROUP coz Nigeria is failing 2deal with dem,just for the sake of innocent ppl

Aug 25, 2014 2:45 | 0 replies

seg1984

EBOLA, Please attack Boko Haram on behalve of Nigeria...

Aug 25, 2014 3:8 | 0 replies

Ratadilo

seg1984 I pray so too the senseless killing has to come to an end already

Aug 25, 2014 3:42 | 0 replies