Nigeria Baga attack: Army seizes heavy weapons from Boko Haram militants / Africa News

The Nigerian army has confirmed that they have seized heavy weapons from the militant group Boko Haram in a terrific clash between the military and the militants in the Bono State town of Baga over the weekend.

heavy weaponsThe Nigerian army has confirmed that they have seized heavy weapons from the militant group Boko Haram in a terrific clash between the military and the militants in the Bono State town of Baga over the weekend.

The army statement released said rocket-propelled grenade launchers had been recovered, along with bomb-making material and other dangerous weapons used in the attack by the militants.

It is believed that this is the first time Boko Haram is using heavy weapons in an open attack against the military.

Local residents said on Monday that at least 185 people were killed in the fighting which started on Friday till Sunday morning.

The military initially declined to comment on the issue making the situation very difficult to verify the official casualties in the attack.

The military finally broke their silence and confirmed that 37 people were killed given the breakdown to be 30 members of the Boko Haram group, one soldier and 6 civilians.

But the Red Cross has backed local residents who say the figure is higher than what the military has put out to be the number of casualties in the attack.

The Red Cross also added that it is still trying to gain access to send more personnel to help those affected by the violence.

Residents still insist that the town is still under siege by the military and also accused the federal government of neglecting them.

“Baga is still under military siege… The town is at a standstill, with little food and water, which has forced even those of us that stayed behind to start leaving’’, a resident told reporters.

One resident who spoke on the BBC Focus on Africa program also complained bitterly about how the government has treated them since the incident.

“When the Boston was bombed and 3 people died, President Obama cried for only the death of 3 people but in Nigeria, 100 people will be killed and nobody says nothing’’, he said.

“A lot of our people have not returned since the incident, we are afraid, the town look like a ghost-town to some of us, there is an extreme fear in this town’’, another resident also voiced out to reporters.

This latest crisis comes after President Goodluck Jonathan officially backed an amnesty talks with the militants by setting up a committee to start talks with the militants.

The committee will consider dialogue and disarmament in 60 days after which the report of the committee will be implemented.

The committee is made up of 25 members include military figures, academicians and politicians who primary duty will be to address the underlying causes of insurgencies and to find solutions to prevent them recurring again.

It is unclear what the government will do next whether to continue the amnesty talks with the militants or to stop and resort to force as a result of this latest development.

Issaka Adams / NationalTurk Africa

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