Boko Haram: We will bomb Nige­ria cap­i­tal

New Straits Times - - World - BOKO HARAM FIGHTER

MAIDUGURI: A man pur­port­ing to be a Boko Haram fighter said the Is­lamist mil­i­tant group plans to bomb Nige­ria’s cap­i­tal, Abuja, in a video on Satur­day.

“More bombs at­tacks are on the way, in­clud­ing Abuja that you feel is se­cured,” said the man in the video, which was ob­tained by Sa­hara Re­porters, a United States-based jour­nal­ism web­site, and Nige­rian jour­nal­ist Ah­mad Salkida. The au­then­tic­ity of the video could not be ver­i­fied.

Nige­ria’s state se­cu­rity agency, the Depart­ment of State Ser­vices, last month said it had thwarted plans by Boko Haram mil­i­tants linked to Is­lamic State to at­tack the Bri­tish and US em­bassies in Abuja.

Eighty-two girls were freed last Satur­day in ex­change for Boko Haram com­man­ders af­ter be­ing held cap­tive for three years.

They were among about 270 kid­napped by the ji­hadist group from the town of Chi­bok in north­east Nige­ria in April 2014.

In a se­cond video, one of a group of four fe­males cov­ered in full-length Mus­lim veils claim­ing to be among the ab­ducted girls said she did not want to re­turn home.

“We don’t want to re­unite with our par­ents be­cause they are not wor­ship­ping Al­lah, and I urge you to join us,” she said, hold­ing a ri­fle and speak­ing in Hausa.

“We have not been force­fully mar­ried to any­body. Mar­riage is based on your wish.”

Me­di­a­tor and lawyer Zan­nah Mustapha said some of the ab­ducted girls re­fused to be re­leased, fu­elling fears that they had been rad­i­calised.

Boko Haram has killed about 20,000 peo­ple and forced more than two mil­lion peo­ple to flee their homes since 2009 in an in­sur­gency aimed at cre­at­ing a state ad­her­ing to strict Is­lamic laws in the north­east of Africa’s most pop­u­lous na­tion.

The mil­i­tant group also car­ries out cross-border at­tacks in neigh­bour­ing Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Boko Haram con­trolled a swathe of land in north­east Nige­ria about the size of Bel­gium un­til the start of 2015.

The army has re­taken much of the ter­ri­tory that had been lost to the group, but large parts of the north­east, par­tic­u­larly in Borno state, re­main un­der threat from the mil­i­tants. Reuters

More bombs at­tacks are on the way, in­clud­ing Abuja that you feel is se­cured.

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