The Islamist group Boko Haram has taken control of much of the northeastern town of Bama, 70 kilometers from the capital of Borno State, after several hours of intense fighting against the army, according to the testimony of residents cited by France Presse and Reuters.
The Government security forces repelled the first assault on Monday but the militiamen returned in greater numbers. A Nigerian soldier who participated in the defense of Bama told Reuters that the insurgents charged into a headquarters using heavy weapons and even armored vehicles. Calling for reinforcements, Army aircraft bombed the area indiscriminately, killing soldiers and militiamen, according to the same source says.
The Borno State Senator Ahmed Zannah said the service of BBC Hausa (local language) that the Army had to leave the area after the air strike, which destroyed the barracks. A Nigerian government spokesman declined to comment to Reuters on the facts in Bama but security sources quoted by news agency speak of significant casualties on both sides and the flight of at least 5,000 people in the city.
The Islamist militia outpost in the northeast has led authorities to advance the curfew in the city of Maiduguri, Borno state capital and site of a strategic army barracks. Last week, the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau said the establishment of a caliphate and the establishment of Islamic law in the towns under their control in northwestern Nigeria.
Boko Haram insurgency has prompted the government to maintain the state of emergency in the northern states of Borno, Yobe Adawama and since May 2013 The Islamist group, which received international attention and outrage after abducted more than 200 students in April, has killed more than 3,000 people this year, more than 12,000 since 2009, according to estimates by the Nigerian government.
The African Union seeks funds to combat jihadism On the diplomatic front, the member states of the African Union (AU) on Tuesday proposed creating a special fund to raise money in order to combat the threat of Islamist groups, which have become strong in parts of Nigeria and Somalia.
The President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, has indicated that African countries should be together against the threat of Boko Haram and Al Shabab Islamist sect, which operates in Somalia but performs border incursions into Kenyan territory. In fact, Kenya has been the target of terrorist attacks since, in October 2011, the Army went into Somalia because of a wave of kidnappings in Kenyan soil blamed on the Somali Islamist militia Al Shabab. Kenyan troops have now been absorbed into the peacekeeping mission of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
” No state can end this threat individually,” said the president. “It is particularly worrying that terrorist organizations in Africa have grown both in terms of numbers and capacity,” he underlined.
The president of Chad, Idriss Deby, flanked at the press conference by Kenyatta, and the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has given no details on who will contribute to the fund or how you are going to use the money raised. The idea of the fund, given by the Kenyan president, will be discussed at the next general meeting of the AU.
In addition to the Africans themselves, it is possible that some Western countries contribute to the fund to fight terrorism, because nations like the United States and Saudi Arabia have spent many years giving money, weapons and training to African states to put an end to Islamist organizations, Reuters notes.
On the other hand, the American intelligence services announced Tuesday trying to determine if they have claimed the lives of Al Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane radical Somali Islamic militia in a drone attack in Somalia on Monday. This Islamist militia for the attack in 2013 against the Westgate Mall Nairobi (Kenya).