2000 Killed in Nigeria Massacre

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More than 2,000 people have been killed in Islamist extremist group Boko Haram’s deadliest massacre yet in Nigeria, Amnesty International reported.

Most victims were children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough when insurgents drove into the town of Baga, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on town residents.

“The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous,” said Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for poorly armed civilians in a defense group that fights Boko Haram.

Hundreds of bodies have been found from residents who hid under scant brush. Some sought refuge in their homes were burned alive and many who tried to cross into neighboring Chad drowned while trying to swim through Lake Chad.

“If reports that the town was largely razed to the ground and that hundreds or even as many as 2,000 civilians were killed are true, this marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught against the civilian population,” said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.

The U.S. State Department condemned the recent massacre, saying in a statement that Boko Haram “shows no regard for human life” and “all those responsible for these recurring terrorist attacks must be held accountable.”

It has been nine days since the initial attack yet bodies still scatter in the bushes and danger still lingers.

“It is still not safe to go and pick them up for burial,” said Musa Bukar, the chairman of the local government where Baga is located.

No emergency crews will enter the villages where militants are still running amok, local authorities said.

“Baga is not accessible because it is still occupied by Boko Haram,” said Sen. Maina Ma’aji Lawan of northern Borno state.

More than 1 million people have been displaced inside Nigeria and hundreds of thousands have fled across its borders into Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria. Those who survived the attack and tried to swim to Chad are now stranded on Kangala Island on Lake Chad. Chadian authorities are asking the United Nations to help relocate more than 1,000 of them.

Abubakar Gamandi, a native of Baga who was away during the attack, said those trapped there are dying.

“‎I have been in touch with them on the phone,” he said. “They told me ‎some of them are dying from lack of food, cold and malaria on the mosquito-infested island.”

Of the 30,000 people displaced during the attacks, 20,000 camped in Maiduguri city. An additional 10,000 were being ferried from Monguno town, which is about 60 kilometers (36 miles) from Baga.

Continue to pray for Nigeria and all families affected by this continued massacre.

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