Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram have fled Damasak, a town in northeast Nigeria, after an offensive by troops from Chad and Niger. According to the Daily Mail, the troops who liberated the town made a grisly discovery when they uncovered a mass grave at a Boko Haram execution site. Troops found the bodies of at least 100 people who had been murdered by Boko Haram. Many of the decomposed bodies had been decapitated or had their throats cut.
Boko Haram have become notorious for kidnapping and murdering innocent victims in towns they capture and have been widely reviled for their murderous brutality. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has been lambasted for his failure to combat Boko Haram terrorism in northern Nigeria, but in recent months, a coalition of forces from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger has made significant gains against Boko Haram extremists.
According to the Irish Times, troops from Chad and Niger who liberated Damasak found what appeared to be a Boko Haram execution site beneath a concrete bridge on one of the main roads leading out of the town. Colonel Azem Bermandoa Agouna said several of the victims had been decapitated while others had their throats cut.
“There are about 100 bodies spread around under the bridge just outside the town. There are heads here and bodies there, the mass grave has become like a termite mound. This is the work of Boko Haram.”
During its six-year reign of terror, it is believed that Boko Haram murdered at least 13,000 people. Boko Haram captured Damasak back in November as part of their offensive to establish an Islamic caliphate in northeast Nigeria. Many of the town’s residents fled in the face of the Boko Haram onslaught, with those who remained being either too ill or too old to flee. Damasak resident Mbodou Moussa described the scene when Boko Haram attacked the town.
“People were in town when they (Boko Haram) attacked, they fired at us, we ran away to the bushes but they continued to fire and chased some people to kill them.”
According to the Hindustan Times, there are fears that more bodies will be discovered, as there is a strong smell of decomposing bodies in many areas of the town.
At the beginning of this year, Boko Haram controlled an area the size of Belgium, but the offensive by the coalition forces has managed to regain all but three districts. Despite gains by coalition forces, Boko Haram showed they can still murder civilians when they killed 10 people in the town of Gamburu, on the border with Cameroon, earlier this week.