Islamist extremists are being blamed for an attack in northeastern Nigeria that killed at least 33 people and resulted in the kidnapping of about 200 others.
The Associated Press quoted officials saying that the number of dead in the village of Gumsuri was 35 and that “at least 185” had been kidnapped. The BBC said 33 had been killed and “about 200” kidnapped.
NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, reporting from Dakar, Senegal, says the attack occurred Sunday but that “news is only now beginning to filter through.” She explains that information from the remote area where the killings and kidnappings took place is “cut off from cellphone service, and sometimes it can take days to emerge.”
Suspicion for the attack has fallen on Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in April and has carried out dozens of attacks in the same area of the country. Sunday’s raid occurred just 20 miles from Chibok, where the schoolgirls were abducted. In October, the Nigerian government claimed to have brokered a cease-fire deal with the militant group that was to have included return of the girls. However, that agreement quickly fell through.
Survivors reaching Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, where the attacks took place, say young men, children and women were abducted by the suspected Islamist insurgents. The AP quotes teenager Aji Ibrahim, who says he escaped by hiding in bushes and that he has no doubt they were Boko Haram.
“[They] were chanting ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is great) while shooting at people and torching houses,” he told the AP.
Meanwhile, in neighboring Cameroon, the military said it has killed more than 100 Boko Haram militants after the extremist group attacked a market area in the border town of Amchide.