DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Boko Haram has killed at least 60 people in a "devastating" attack on the northeastern coastal city of Rannah, Amnesty International said Friday, calling it one of the most inhumane attacks by an extremist group in nearly ten years – a long rebel.
On Thursday morning, fighters ride motorcycles through the city near Cameroon, setting fires and killing people who were gone, the international law group said in several Twitter reports. The fighters also persecuted the people who fled the "massive attack" and killed several outside the city.
Amnesty published a satellite pictures that it said there were "hundreds of burnt structures." Many may have served as shelters for displaced people who have arrived in recent months and sought protection. Most Rana is "now destroyed," the group said.
The attack occurred when Nigeria faced what it called the revival of extremists, creating a serious challenge for President Muhammad Buhari when he wanted to re-elect within two weeks. His administration once claimed that Boko Haram was "crushed" or "technically defeated", but the military had to deal with low morale and support.
Witnesses told Amnesty that soldiers had left their posts a day before the attack. There was no immediate military statement. However, the new report presented on Friday by the United Nations noted that after its fighters provided the city after the mid-January attack, an international joint task force was set up as a regional counterweight unit.
"When the soldier left, we had no other way to leave," one of Rannah, who fled to Cameroon, Kellou Maloum Mod, told the US.
The attack that took place in mid-January sent at least 9,000 people fled to Cameroon, the US Refugee Agency said, adding that it was "very worried" in the reports that Cameroon sent back several thousand. At the end of January, more than 30,000 people left Cameroon, and thousands more fled to Chad.
“Many people were shocked and were obviously excited about what they had experienced. Now they have lost everything they have, ”the director of the Nigerian Doctors Without Borders program took place in mid-January.
A nurse with medical charity said that a busy city usually became a "cemetery" where fires still burn. "All that remains is ash piles," said Isa Sadq Bwala.
What many people in Nigeria call Boko Haram include a strong recent scourge of the West African province of the Islamic state, whose violent activities grew last year, and Boko Haram, as the US-sponsored African Strategic Research Center points out. It was not clear immediately which faction was behind Monday's attack.
Far Coast has had a tragic role in Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram. In January 2017, the Nigerian Air Force mistakenly launched a flight to the refugee camp in the city, saying that the camp was not properly labeled as a humanitarian base on its maps. Officials and community leaders said they were killed between 100 and 236 people.
In March last year, three UN agencies were among the 11 people killed in the Boko Haram attack on the military base in Rann.
Three health workers were kidnapped. Since then, two have been killed, despite urgent requests from the relief community to free their lives.
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