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Boko Haram traps residents of 12 besieged villages

By News Express on 22/02/2015

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Boko Haram fighters have prevented hundreds of residents from leaving a dozen villages in Marte district, near Gamboru, Borno State, AFP has reported.

The international news agency said that the terrorists resorted to using the villagers as human shields as Chadian forces of the Multinational Joint task Force conducted sweeping aerial and ground attacks.

The report identified the villages affected as Kwalaram, Bukar-Mairam, Abbaganaram, Sidir, Kirta, Jibillaram, Zannari, Kutukungulla, Baranga, Kitikime, Krenuwa and Jillam.

“They will not allow everyone to leave and threaten to kill anyone that attempts to flee,” Maji Zaram, who escaped from Kitikime to Fotokol, told AFP.

Zaram said he pretended he was going into the bush to gather firewood but escaped and threw away his axe.

“They (Boko Haram) said we must stay with them in good and in bad times,” he added. “They said we can’t leave them after partaking in all the booty they brought to us.”

Chadian troops had last week pushed deep inside Nigerian territory for the first time, bombarding Dikwa, 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Gamboru to the south-west, near Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold.

Nigeria’s military also attacked Sambisa Forest and Gwoza, where the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, first proclaimed the existence of an Islamic state inside Nigeria last year.

Maji Ariye, a Nigerian refugee in Fotokol, said the villagers were “reaping what they sowed,” as many had decided to stay voluntarily when Boko Haram moved in.

They said they would rather live under Boko Haram because the militants were bringing in free food and other consumables from raids elsewhere, he claimed.

“Now that the table has turned against their benefactors they want to leave,” he said.

“I warned several people to leave because when soldiers deployed there would be no hiding place for them but they refused to listen.”

•Photo shows Boko Haram fighters.

Source News Express

Posted 22/02/2015 06:59:30 AM


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