Who are Boko Haram?
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Islamist militants massacred 33 women married to fighters from the so-called Islamic State in a bloody revenge attack. The slaughter was carried out by fighters belonging to Boko Haram, a militant Islamic terror group based in northeast Nigeria. The terror organisation launched a jihadist insurgency back in 2009 with the aim of toppling the Nigerian government and replacing it with an Islamic regime.
Boko Haram jihadists killed the wives of the ISIS fighters earlier in the week, as fighting between the rival groups intensified.
Ali Ngulde, the leader of the Nigerian militants, sent his men to attack a camp belonging to the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The ISWAP is a Boko Haram off-shoot that split from the original group in 2016.
Its fighters are aligned with with displaced Islamic State jihadis in the Middle East.
The attack was reportedly in revenge for the killing of the Boko Haram commander Abubakar Shekau and at least twelve other members by ISWAP soldiers, after peace talks between the two groups broke down – according to security analyst Zagazola Makama.
Boko Haram is renowned for its brutality and has carried out numerous terror attacks and massacres.
It came to world prominence in 2014, when the militants kidnapped hundreds of school girls in Chibok, while they were sitting an exam.
The group is believed to be responsible for an estimated 40,000 deaths and its terror campaigns have extended into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
Its former leader, Abubakar Shekau, is believed to have left behind 83 concubines after his death in 2021.
He is said to have detonated a suicide belt after being surrounded by ISWAP fighters during an attack.
Retired Brigadier General Abdullahi Ishaq, a special security adviser to the Borno state governor in northeastern Nigeria, told reporters on Saturday about Shekau’s many female companions.
Commenting on a reconciliation process with former Boko Haram militants, he said: “We started this non-kinetic approach 16 months ago.
“The model started shortly after the death of Abubakar Shekau and the state government didn’t want Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) to continue using the Shekau’s fighters.
“We know it would be deadly. So, the first of fighters that I received in Bama told me that Shekau had 83 concubines, just imagine he left behind 83 concubines.
“They said he is now in hell because he committed suicide during his clash with the other faction.
“He always told them go out and fight, if they die in the process several virgins are waiting for them.”
It comes as a Reuters investigation alleges that the Nigerian Army has run an illegal abortion campaign in the country since at least 2013.
According to Reuters, at least 10,000 pregnancies among women and girls, many of whom had been kidnapped and raped by Islamist militants, were terminated.
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The abortions mostly were carried out without the person’s consent – and often without their prior knowledge, according to witness accounts.
The women and girls ranged from a few weeks to eight months pregnant, and some were as young as 12 years old.
The Nigerian Army has fiercely denied the allegations, calling the report a “body of insults on the Nigerian peoples and culture.”
They added: “Nigerian military personnel have been raised, bred and further trained to protect lives.
“The Nigerian military will not, therefore, contemplate such evil of running a systematic and illegal abortion programme anywhere and anytime, and surely not on our own soil.”
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