December 21, 2013 – Bama Borno Army Barracks Attack: Boko Haram Kidnapped Soldiers’ Wives & Children
Hours after brutal attacks carried out by Boko Haram militants on army barracks in Bama, Borno state, more detail is now emerging about the damaged caused by the dreaded Islamists.
The terrorists launched a sudden raid on Nigeria’s military barracks in Bama Borno state yesterday after sneaking into the country through Cameroon border.
The militants reportedly kidnapped wives and children of soldiers during the 4-hour attack on the barracks located in the border town with Cameroon.
The number of their hostages has not been given by the military authorities, but agency report said the embarrassed military has surrounded the village of Abbaram, near Bama, where they thought the Boko Haram fighters are holding their captives. Boko Haram fighters stormed the barracks in the town of Bama early on Friday, spraying it with bullets before torching the compound.
Several Bama residents told AFP the insurgents also abducted the soldiers’ wives and children during the attack.
Bama residents said the Boko Haram gunmen fled to the nearby village of Abbaram after the attack, where the military sent hundreds of troops on Saturday.
“The soldiers have besieged the village and more troops are deploying in hundreds,” said Ibrahim Idris.
“Nothing is happening yet but from the huge number of troops deploying and the large number of Boko Haram in the village one can imagine what may happen”.
Karim Bunu, who also lives in Bama, described Abbaram as a village of some 250 people.
“We are afraid of what will happen to the people of Abbaram because whichever way one looks at it, they are facing a serious security threat,” he told AFP.
A third resident, who requested anonymity, said the Islamists were holding in Abbaram the “women and children of soldiers,” who had been kidnapped during the Friday attack, in an account supported by both Idris and Bunu.
In November, Human Rights Watch reported that Boko Haram has increasingly used kidnappings as a tactic, abducting scores of women and children this year.
After staging an attack on the military, the insurgents typically flee to far away camps to evade pursuing troops, but their escape was slowed on Friday by fighter jets which dropped bombs on the major routes leading out of Bama, according to the military and witnesses.
“I counted 18 burnt all-terrain vans belonging to the Boko Haram gunmen pulverised by military jets,” said the unnamed resident, who identified himself as a member of a military-backed vigilante force which has formed in the northeast to fight the insurgents.
Air force jets continued to fly over the region on Saturday, residents said.
The Bama attack was the second major Islamist assault on the army this month, casting further doubt on official claims that the rebels have been weakened by a seven-month-old military offensive in the northeast.
During their 4-year assault on Nigeria, several people have died. The group’s number one aim is to Islamize Nigeria.
Boko Haram has been placed on US terrorists watch list.
[Sources: PM News, AFP]