Jerome Starkey, in Mombassa and Cindy Wockner, in Abuja
Executions, rape and scorched earth reprisals by Nigeria’s security forces are driving ordinary people into the arms of Islamist terrorists, says damning new research.
The militant group Boko Haram, which claims to have links to al-Qaeda, has attacked churches, schools, journalists and security forces, killing thousands. But rights groups warn that it is the heavy-handed response from counter-terrorism troops and police units that is making the problem worse.
“The brutal actions of Nigeria’s security forces in response to Boko Haram’s campaign of terror are making an already desperate situation even worse,” said Amnesty International.
In the aftermath of one attack, against a counter-terrorism patrol in Maiduguri — the birthplace of Boko Haram — soldiers stormed nearby homes, shot at least 18 men, and then burned their houses to the ground, it quoted witnesses as saying. (Read more…)