Boko Haram razed the Nigerian town and military base of Baga in an overwhelming attack that toppled the last Nigerian-held area in the district of Borno North. Estimates range from hundreds of civilians killed to a massacre of over 2,000. Last year, it took six months for Boko Haram to kill 2,000 civilians. If the attack’s upper estimate is true, this year the militants achieved the same amount of carnage in only a week.The BBC interviewed an eyewitness to the attack:
“They came through the north, the west and from the southern part of the town because the eastern part is only water. So, when we [went] towards the western part, we saw heavily armed Boko Haram men coming towards us.“The soldiers were trying to repel the attack but that wasn’t going to happen because a lot of the soldiers were without their guns and some were running into the town. When you see soldiers running away into the town – what are you to do, other than to just run away as well?”
Boko Haram is growing more ambitious as well as more bloodthirsty. Last week it raided neighboring Cameroon. According to the AFP, the attack put Borno’s borders with Cameroon, Chad, and Niger into Boko Haram’s hands. France has pledged to help organize a multi-national coalition against Boko Haram in the region. Now that task force looks even more necessary than it already did.