Islamic extremist attack leaves at least 127 dead in Nigeria

A five-hour battle between Islamic extremists and army troops in the capital of Yobe state killed at least 127 people, all but two combatants, according to reports from army and police officers that raise doubts about military claims that they have the upper hand in Nigeria’s fight to halt an Islamic uprising.

DAMATURU, Nigeria — A five-hour battle between Islamic extremists and army troops in the capital of Yobe state killed at least 127 people, all but two combatants, according to reports from army and police officers that raise doubts about military claims that they have the upper hand in Nigeria’s fight to halt an Islamic uprising.

The stench of rotting corpses from the morgue hung over Damaturu Specialist Hospital on Tuesday, where a reporter counted 31 bodies identified as those of extremists.

Details still are trickling in about the attack, which militants began at dusk Thursday on an army barracks 20 kilometres outside Damaturu, the capital, where they overpowered the soldiers, seized an armoured car, looted the armoury and set the barracks ablaze.

The reports were given to Yobe state Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam by military officers as he toured the destroyed sites with a heavily armed escort on Monday.

The attackers then moved down the main road into the city where they rammed the armoured car through the gates to the headquarters of the Police Anti-Terrorist Squad. There, they burned down three buildings.

While some of the extremists exchanged fire with the police, the armoured car and others in all-terrain pickup trucks and on foot went on to shoot up and set fire to the police Criminal Investigation Department offices and four other police offices scattered across the city until they arrived at the Mobile Police Base, where the armoured car caught fire and was abandoned.

The militants went to the hospital where they looted drugs and bandages as the medical staff fled in terror, according to doctors at the hospital.

This account differs from the official version of events that extremists attacked an army checkpoint along the road from Damaturu to Benisheikh — where militants have killed hundreds of civilians in recent weeks — at around 3 a.m. on Friday. A “firefight ensued and the insurgents were effectively neutralized,” according to a statement Monday from the army spokesman in Damaturu, Ibrahim Attahiru.

He said 70 militants were killed there.

“Fleeing insurgents” then “regrouped to carry out attacks on Damaturu town,” Attahiru said. Security forces killed another 25 insurgents in the city, he said.

Just Posted

Canadians to mark Remembrance Day this morning

OTTAWA — Canadians will gather at cenotaphs and monuments across the country… Continue reading

Kenney’s plan to advance Alberta’s interest receives mixed reviews

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s how Laura feels about… Continue reading

Alberta’s unemployment numbers up in October

The latest jobs report from Statistics Canada’s pegs Alberta’s seasonally adjusted unemployment… Continue reading

Kenney announces ‘Fair Deal Panel’ to advance Alberta’s interests, like pipelines

RED DEER, Alta. — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the creation of… Continue reading

Harvest a struggle in Alberta, Saskatchewan, but a miracle in Manitoba

Winter’s icy fingers have touched most of the Prairies since late September,… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 stunning winter coats

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Wednesday Pain 101 class — learn to take control of your chronic… Continue reading

Bolivian president learns it’s best to rig votes from the start

“Democracy is in danger in Bolivia as the result of legitimate pressures… Continue reading

Tech companies rush to fight misinformation ahead of UK vote

LONDON — Facebook is opening up a war room to quickly respond… Continue reading

Blue Bombers employ one-two QB punch to advance to CFL West final

CALGARY — Zach Collaros is going back to where he started his… Continue reading

Rebirth, angst and the ‘new normal’ of California wildfires

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Tina Chandler walks outside her home and sniffs… Continue reading

Saskatchewan premier says he’ll meet with prime minister in Ottawa on Tuesday

REGINA — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he will meet with Prime… Continue reading

Neil Young says U.S. dual citizenship stalled because of marijuana use

TORONTO — Neil Young says his marijuana use has cast a cloud… Continue reading

Two N.S. constables guilty of criminal negligence in death of intoxicated inmate

HALIFAX — A jury has found two special constables charged in the… Continue reading

Most Read