Children burned alive in Boko Haram attack

Nigeria | Dozens slaughtered in four days of brutal attacks by the Islamist terror group in northern Nigeria
by Jamie Dean
Posted 2/01/16, 02:40 pm

A survivor of a Boko Haram attack in northern Nigeria said he heard a terrifying sound as militants firebombed villages on Saturday evening: the screams of children burning alive in their homes.

Militants from the Islamist terror group spent four days last week brutalizing villages across northern Nigeria, barbarically undermining the Nigerian government’s claims it has defeated Boko Haram.

By Sunday afternoon, Nigerian workers had collected 86 bodies from Dalori village, some three miles from the city of Maiduguri. Boko Haram terrorists invaded the Muslim village on Saturday night, throwing firebombs into homes and gunning down fleeing victims.

The village’s close proximity to the city of Maiduguri is troubling: Though the Nigerian military has made Maiduguri its headquarters for fighting Boko Haram, soldiers initially couldn’t repel the assault on the nearby villages. The attacks also underscored Boko Haram’s ongoing vendetta against Muslims who don’t embrace the group’s deadly agenda.

The attacks came three days after suspected Boko Haram militants terrorized the Christian village of Chibok, which has become well known since terrorists kidnapped some 200 girls from a school there nearly two years ago.

On Jan. 27, extremists entered Chibok disguised as women carrying babies on their backs. Instead, the terrorists carried bombs and set off multiple explosions that killed 18 people.

The group Bring Back Our Girls—an organization advocating for the missing Chibok schoolgirls—reported two of the victims were sisters related to one of the missing girls. One of the sisters died in the attack, and the other is in critical condition.

Two days later, militants attacked the nearby town of Gombi. A local Red Cross official said a teenage boy detonated himself in the market, killing at least eight people and wounding 25.

Gombi has suffered Boko Haram incursions in the past. During a visit last summer, I toured the charred hulls of several churches that militants had torched during attacks a few months earlier. The rutted out paths the terrorists used to drive trucks and motorbikes from their hideout in the Sambisa Forest were still visible.

Christopher Brisbone, a local pastor of a Lutheran Church, told me last summer he remained in the village to care for the many Christians returning to the area. Though Brisbone could seek safety elsewhere, he said: “The pastor is the last man to stand.”

Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the political beat and other topics as national editor for WORLD Magazine. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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