Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Nigerian army accused of killing 23 in Maiduguri

Amnesty International believes Nigeria's security forces have killed 23 people in the city of Maiduguri. The organisation said the Nigerian army opened fire without provocation on Saturday 23rd July, after a bomb explosion in the northern city. It also accused army members of burning a marketplace. A military spokesman dismissed the allegations as "outright lies".

AFP news agency quoted army spokesman Lt Col Hassan Isijeh Mohammed as saying: "The fire that burnt homes, shops and vehicles was caused by the impact of the explosion of the bomb detonated by the Boko Haram attackers."

Maiduguri is home to one of Nigeria's biggest militant Islamist group's, Boko Haram, which has recently carried out a number of bombings and attacks across Nigeria.

Amnesty International has urged Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan to look into the shootings, saying: "The Nigerian authorities must immediately put a stop to unlawful killings by the security forces."

According to a number of sources, the bomb blast killed at least three security officials. Some speculate that the residents of Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, are now more fearful of the army than the Islamist militants.

Just last month, Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima admitted that the army had been guilty of excesses in the city and has potentially killed innocent civilians while battling with Boko Haram.

Sources: BBC News, The Nation Newspaper, AFP

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

No comments:

Post a Comment