Nigeria militants kill dozens in Borno state attack

The BBC's Will Ross takes a look at the devastation left in the town of Konduga

About 39 people are believed to have been killed in an attack by Islamist militants on a Nigerian town.

Local residents said the attack on Konduga, in the north-east Borno state, lasted several hours, beginning shortly before sundown on Tuesday night with the arrival of gunmen in 4x4 trucks.

A mosque and more than 1,000 homes were razed to the ground, residents said.

The region is a stronghold of the Boko Haram Islamist group that is waging an insurgency against the government.

Konduga is 35km (22 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.


An Associated Press reporter counted at least three children among 39 bodies ready for burial on Wednesday.

Wailing farmers described the attack on the town of 13,000 to visiting Borno state governor Kashim Shettima.

Soldiers and police stationed there fled, they said. They asked why it took hours for the military to scramble an aircraft that strafed the attackers until they fled.

A man who fled to Maiduguri told the BBC they were in the market when they suddenly heard gunshots coming from all directions and were forced to sneak out of the town under cover of darkness.

A screenshot taken on 12 December 2013 from a video showing a man claiming to be the leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau Borno is a stronghold of militant group Boko Haram, which is waging an insurgency against the government

Most survivors made their way to Maiduguri on foot. A Red Cross official in the city said all civilians had left Konduga by late Tuesday night.

The death toll has not yet been independently confirmed and a source at the Maiduguri Teaching Hospital said that the focus now was on saving the injured.

A spokesman for Col Muhammad Dole, of the Nigerian army, said the military was still awaiting full details of the attack.

Numerous villages in the area have been attacked, and hundreds killed, in recent months, despite Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states all being under emergency rule

Frustrated with their efforts to combat the rebellion, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan replaced his top military brass on 16 January. The attack on Konduga is thought to have been the biggest in the restive region since those new appointments.

This picture taken in June 2013 shows Nigerian police, part of the joint forces in Borno state, prior to a patrol in Maiduguri Nigeria's president is frustrated by the security forces' apparent lack of progress in defeating Boko Haram

More on This Story

More Africa stories


Features & Analysis

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • INDHUJA'Dorky tomboy'

    The Indian who attracted proposals through honesty

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.