Nigeria's Boko Haram raids Borno market; scores killed
Boko Haram insurgents invaded Mainok market located 55km from provincial capital Maiduguri, opening fire on local traders and patrons.

Scores of people were killed in a raid by Boko Haram militants on a village market in Nigeria's northeastern Borno State, a military source said Friday.

According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Boko Haram insurgents invaded Mainok market – located some 55km from provincial capital Maiduguri – at about 1:30pm on Friday, opening fire on local traders and patrons.

Kashim Maina, an eyewitness, was nearby when the attack occurred.

"Our vehicle drove into the middle of Mainok from Bauchi. At about 1:30pm, we heard a loud gunshot. Sporadic gunshots followed inside the market and people fled… to the other side of the road," Maina told AA.

He said the continuous shooting had led to chaos, with many people who fled to the road being struck by oncoming vehicles.

Another eyewitness, Kayode Ojo, a technician who had been returning to Borno State from the country's southwest, said he and other passengers narrowly escaped the shooting.

"The vehicle I boarded, like others, was trying to maneuver its way out of the confusion, since it was dangerous to stop or make a U-turn," he recalled.

"In the middle of the confusion, vehicles were hitting fleeing traders and other vehicles. Many people died in the process and many were shot dead in the market," he recalled.

"I saw people falling down. We escaped miraculously," he added.

It was not Boko Haram's first attack on Mainok. In March, the town was hit by a Boko Haram raid that left around 25 people dead.

Militants have already overrun the towns of Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala and Gwoza – all in the restive Borno State. They also currently control the towns of Buni Yadi and Bara in neighboring Yobe State.

Boko Haram's elusive leader, Abubakar Shekau, recently declared all territories under the group's control to be part of an "Islamic caliphate" in northern Nigeria.

In April, over 200 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram militants. They remain in captivity despite a local and international outcry over their uncertain fate.

Outlawed in Nigeria, Turkey and the U.S., Boko Haram has been blamed for thousands of deaths and scores of violent attacks in recent years, especially in Nigeria's restive northeastern region.

Nigeria kills 60Boko Haram militants, captures kingpin

The Nigerian army has killed up to 60 Boko Haram militants – and arrested a group leader – following fresh attempts by insurgents on Wednesday to capture the northeastern town of Konduga, Nigeria's defense headquarters said Friday.

In a series of tweets, the Nigerian military said that a "high-ranking terrorist leader" had been injured and captured during Wednesday's attack and was currently "being treated in a military medical facility."

"He is among those captured. [A total of] 60 of his fighters died during the series of attacks they launched to gain access to Konduga and [its] environ[s]," the army said via Twitter.

"Weapons captured include 24 rifles, five rocket-propelled grenade tubes, two machine guns and one anti-aircraft [gun], as well as a Ford Ranger vehicle," it added.

Troops also fought off an ambush on Thursday, capturing four motorcycles that had belonged to the militants, the military said in another tweet.

"One soldier, however, died, while four who were wounded are receiving treatment," it added.

On Wednesday, the army announced it had "successfully crushed" a fresh Boko Haram attack on Konduga.

"Troops this morning successfully crushed another attempt by terrorists, who were on a revenge mission to Konduga, after 12 hours of fighting on the outskirts of the Borno State community," Nigeria's defense headquarters said in a terse statement on Wednesday afternoon.

"Troops are now combing the vicinity in a cordon and [carrying out] search operations to determine the heavy casualties suffered by the terrorists in the encounter," it added.

The army said it had also seized a number of weapons from the militants, including "3 Hilux vehicles, one armored personnel carrier and a cache of arms and ammunition."

Nigerian troops recently killed over 50 Boko Haram militants in Konduga after the latter attempted to seize the flashpoint town.

Konduga is a strategic town located just outside Maiduguri, Borno State's provincial capital. Military officials believe that its capture by Boko Haram would be catastrophic.

A group of Borno elders asserted in a statement last week that the militants had surrounded Maiduguri and were gearing up to attack it.

The military has since dispelled these fears, however, which had been fuelled by claims that the insurgents were in control of several towns, including Gwoza.

Boko Haram is said to have captured eight towns in Adamawa State, which has a population of some 2.5 million.

Given the notorious sect's violent methods, much of Nigeria's Muslim community rejects Boko Haram, saying the group is part of a "conspiracy" aimed at defaming Muslims and Islam.

Last Modified: 2014-09-20 08:25:34
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