Nigerian Islamists on Monday attacked Bama, a town in Borno
Statekilling 14 pro-government youth vigilantes and injuring nine
others, alocal official who attended a mass funeral for the victims
Reutersreported that Sunday's attack was one of the spates of deadly
assaults by the Boko Haram Islamist sect this month that raises doubts
about whether a military offensive against it since May can succeed.
Local vigilante groups run by youth volunteers have been
instrumentalin helping the military capture Boko Haram members, but
they have also made them a target for the insurgents, drawing
civilians further into the conflict.
The Chairman, Bama Local Government Area of Borno State, AlhajiBaba
Shehu Gulumba, told journalists in Bama, near Maiduguri, the Borno
State capital that the insurgents disguised as soldiers and lured the
youths into a trap.
"They were on guard duty when the sect members dressed in military
camouflage came and told them that they were needed at a meeting
"When they had been lured away from their duty posts they were
thenattacked and killed," he said.
When our correspondent contacted the Director of Defence Information,
Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, he said that he was not aware of the
He said that he had not received any briefing on an attack by Boko
Haram in Borno on Monday.
He said, "I have not seen any such attack and killings in my records;I
am not aware of it."
Bama is in Borno State, the center of the insurgency. The town is not
far from a mountainous area along the Cameroon border where many Boko
Haram fighters are believed to be holding out, after beingcleared from
other areas by Nigerian forces.
Their four-year battle to revive an ancient Islamic caliphate in
religiously mixed Nigeria remains the main security threat to Africa's
top oil producer.
The military announced a week ago that Boko Haram's leader Abubakar
Shekau may have died between late July and early Augustfrom bullet
wounds he received during a gun battle weeks before.
If he did die, not only has it failed to stem the violence, but deadly
attacks are actually up on a month ago.