The militant Boko Haram sect is suspected in weekend attacks on villages in Nigeria’s beleagured northeast that left scores dead. News reports said the attackers, armed with military rifles, shoulder-launched grenades and firebombs set fire to the villages of Ngoshe, Kaigamari and Anchaka, in Borno state. The attackers fired on residents as they tried to flee. News reports of the death toll approached 100.
Borno state is a stronghold of Boko Haram, a five-year old insurgency that has killed thousands of Nigerians in its quest to drive out what it considers to be Western influence, and to impose an Islamic state. The weekend’s attacks across Borno occurred in areas near the border with Cameroon, where concentrations of Christians continue to live and where deadly raids have been more frequent in recent months.
Boko Haram also is suspected in Monday’s huge bomb blast in a bus station on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital, Abuja, that killed at least 71 people.