55 dead after suspected raid in Nigeria by Islamist sect Boko Haram
The Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram is thought to have been behind a deadly siege on the northeastern town of Bama on Tuesday that left 55 people dead.
Military sources in Nigeria said 200 heavily armed members of Boko Haram arrived in buses and pick-up trucks and carried out a coordinated strike, first hitting the army barracks and the police station before breaking into the town's prison.
Military spokesman Sagir Musa told Reuters that 22 police officers, 14 prison officials, two soldiers and four civilians were killed in the five-hour raid, while 13 of the group's own members died. The attack is one of the rebel's most deadly single strikes since 2009.
During the five-hour raid, gunmen freed 105 prisoners, while the town's police station, army barracks and government buildings were reportedly set ablaze.
Boko Haram is a terror group that wants to carve out an Islamic state in a country split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims. One of its chief demands is that its imprisoned members and family members are released and it has carried out several prison breaks.
The radical Islamist group, based in northern Nigeria, once specialised in robbing banks and attacking defenceless Christian congregations. But the last four years has seen something of a step-change in their attacks, with gunmen and suicide bombers have killed more than 3,000 people since 2009, according to Human Rights Watch.
Much of this transformation is believed to have arisen because of the help Boko Haram has received from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a branch of the international terrorist network based in the Saharan states of Mali, Niger and Algeria.
Western governments are increasingly concerned about Nigerian militants linking up with other jihadist groups in the West African region. In January at least 100 of the movement's fighters executed eight assaults in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, overwhelming the security forces and killing 185 people.
- 1 The political parties aren't all the same – which means 2015 will be a 'big-choice' election
- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Three killed at South Korean nuclear reactor days after hackers target country's atomic agency
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...