Boko Haram attacked another Nigerian city this past weekend, killing hundreds. The terrorist group defeated military soldiers, killing insurgents and civilians, and burning down houses in the city of Maiduguri Sunday (Jan. 26)
At the same time the insurgents continued scorched-earth attacks on villages some 200 kilometers (125 miles) to the south in Adamawa state, slitting throats of residents, looting and burning homes and abducting dozens of trapped women and children, according to Vandu Kainu and other escaping survivors.
Adamawa state legislator Adamu Kamale appealed for troops to protect civilians in Michika, where six villages are under attack. “The attacks have continued since Friday with no presence of security operatives,” he complained.
The multiple attacks come as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital nearly 1,000 miles (more than 1,500 kilometers) southwest of Maiduguri, to encourage peaceful elections on Feb. 14 in Africa’s most populous country.
“This will be the largest democratic election on the continent,” Kerry said. “Given the stakes, it’s absolutely critical that these elections be conducted peacefully — that they are credible, transparent and accountable.”
Kerry met with President Goodluck Jonathan and his chief rival candidate, former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari. Kerry told reporters afterward that he won pledges from both to refrain from violence.
He also issued a warning: Anyone responsible for inciting post-election mayhem will be barred entry to the United States, where millions of Nigerians live.
Kerry promised more U.S. support in the fight against Boko Haram if the elections take place peacefully and democratically.
Nigerian soldiers continue to be overpowered by the militant group, fueling rumors that military members are working for Boko Haram. In 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan admitted Boko Haram had infiltrated the Nigerian government.