The terrorist group Boko Haram has set off a wave of bloody attacks in Nigeria. It waged two attacks on Monday – a suicide bombing at a busy market and an assault on a security facility.
Boko Haram has once again showed its power and ability to strike and destroy at will, especially against civilian targets.
The group’s most recent attacks have been in Maiduguri and Damaturu, Nigeria’s state capitals in the northeast. Boko Haram has strong roots in Damaturu and the surrounding region. It has struck these cities on several occasions over the past five years.
The devastating attacks took place after a bombing Friday in a mosque in Kano. Kano is the principal city in northern Nigeria. The death toll there was 120.
After the smoke cleared on Monday officials were still uncertain how many lives were lost in Maiduguri, where a female walked into a market and detonated a suicide bomb. On Tuesday a similar bombing by two women killed 45 people, reports The New York Times.
Witnesses to the most recent suicide bombing say that despite previous attacks, the market was left unguarded. The Nigerian Army has repeatedly been criticized for its failure to confront the Islamic militants. When military personnel finally arrived at the scene they were shouted down by angry youths.
The attack on Damaturu was a vicious raid by Boko Haram on military, police and government facilities. The raid began just before dawn and residents hid away indoors from the constant gunfire.
With the aid of a military jet the militants were eventually driven out of the city, but not before they burned down the police facility.
Boko Haram made a strong attempt to reach the Government House, which is the seat of the Yobe State government in Damatura, reports VOA News.
The terrorist group gets its weapons by seizing them from the Nigeria military. It appears that the goal of this attack was to reach the stockpile of weapons held there. This raid failed, but the gunfire went on for hours.
Nigeria was once a principal source of American crude oil imports. However, with the boom in its own domestic production, Nigeria’s strategic importance has faded. American assistance is limited by American legal prohibitions against dealings with militaries that are engaged in human- rights abuses.
Monday’s attacks were just a sadistic part of the constant drumbeat of violence the region has suffered at the bloody hands of Boko Haram.