October 11, 2012 |
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria I t's hard to find sadder places in Nigeria than those that have suffered attacks by Boko Haram, the underground fundamentalist Islamic organization. Christians are fearful of attending church. Muslims, who also face attacks by Boko Haram, express concern that government security forces indiscriminately hunting down the group's members consider their entire community to be the enemy. As one Muslim civic activist in this northeastern Nigerian city put it: "People don't know who to be more afraid of — Boko Haram...
May 8, 2013 |
LAGOS, Nigeria — At first, the Islamic extremists in Nigeria's dusty northeast rode on the backs of motorcycles, firing on government officials and other perceived enemies with worn Kalashnikov assault rifles hidden beneath their flowing robes. Now, they come prepared for war. When Islamic fighters drove into a town in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, they used anti-aircraft guns, mounted on the backs of trucks, to destroy nearly every landmark of the nation's federal...
December 30, 2012 |
The armed men dragged Musa Muhammad out of his house and ordered him to lie face down on the ground. Then they grabbed his son. After asking his name, the men issued their judgment. "I heard three gunshots — pop, pop, pop," Muhammad recalled, his voice trembling, his fingers in the shape of a pistol. "My son was dead, killed in front of me. " His assailants were not the radical Islamists who have brutalized this town. They were government security forces sent to protect the residents.
August 16, 2012 |
DIFFA, Niger This West African desert town hardly seems like the front line of an emerging struggle against terrorism. The market is bustling. Young men listen to French rap music blaring from boomboxes. Boys play soccer on unpaved roads. Yet the nearby border checkpoint with Nigeria, where hundreds of people once crossed back and forth daily, is now closed. Soldiers patrol the streets day and night. And a U.S. Special Forces captain and his comrades, who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, are here, training Niger's...
August 9, 2012 |
ABUJA, Nigeria — The Obama administration is renewing an offer to help Nigeria marshal military and intelligence resources against a growing extremist threat that U.S. officials fear could spread to neighboring nations, a U.S. official said Thursday. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's brief visit to Nigeria was focused largely on security concerns. U.S. officials have been frustrated by what many see as a slow and parochial response to the spread of a violent Islamist movement in the country's...
July 13, 2012 |
Ongoing violence in Nigeria has exacerbated tensions between the country's Muslims and Christians. Nigeria has equal numbers of Christians and Muslims, and 92 percent of the country's population says they pray every day, according to a 2010 poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. Hundreds of Christians and Muslims have died this year alone, including scores killed last weekend (July 7-8) when Muslim militants attacked Christian villages in the nation's central plateau, where the mostly Muslim north...