Boko Haram Just Committed One Its Worst Acts of Violence Yet

January 31st 2016

Ingrid Holmquist

In a shocking act of violence, at least 86 people died in a vicious attack by Boko Haram in Nigeria on Saturday night in the city of Maiduguri. A survivor hiding in a tree described the event in graphic detail, recounting the “screams of children burning to death,” according to reports from the Associated Press:

“Scores of charred corpses and bodies with bullet wounds littered the streets from Saturday night's attack on Dalori village and two nearby camps housing 25,000 refugees, according to survivors and soldiers at the scene just 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram and the biggest city in Nigeria's northeast.”

Survivor Alamin Bakura told AP that the massacre lasted for four hours and continued as three suicide bomber blew themselves up in a neighboring village full of those who were able to escape the Dalori village. Along with the 86 confirmed dead, 62 more people are being treated for burns, Abba Musa of the State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri said in a statement.

Nigerian troops weren't able to defeat Boko Haram when they arrived, and Boko Haram retreated only after reinforcements were called in with "heavier weapons," said anonymous soldiers at the scene.

Survivors of the attack told journalists on Sunday that they were scared of another attack and were upset that aid didn't arrive sooner from Maiduguri — the location of military headquarters that's 5 km (roughly 3.10 miles) away from Dalori village and also the birthplace of Boko Haram.

The Dalori village and two neighboring camps are home to roughly 25,000 refugees.

A history of violence.


Nigeria is the birthplace of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram — known for their hate of western education. Boko Haram is the same group that kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from the Nigerian town of Chibok in 2014. Boko Haram abducted over 500 women within five years leading up to that mass kidnapping in 2014.

The group radicalized in part because of the national discord between Nigeria’s predominantly Muslim North and a mostly Christian South.

Boko Haram started in 2002 by Muslim cleric Mohammed Yusuf and, after Nigerian police killed him seven years later, Yusuf’s followers swore vengeance, according to a New York Times article.

Al Jazeera reports that Boko Haram uprisings have “killed 20,000 people in only six years and has driven 2.3 million people from their homes.”

Reuters reported that this was "the third attack this week suspected to have been carried out byt he insurgent group — and the most deadly. Since it has started losing control of territory, Boko Haram has reverted to hit-and-run attacks on villages as well as suicide bombings on places of worship and markets."

Surprisingly, this story is largely underreported, albeit for the widely shared AP article and international news services. The situation is developing.