Nigeria News

Amnesty International Provides Satelite Images of Baga Attacks

 Amnesty International on Thursday said that ‎it had satellite images showing the horrific scale of Boko Haram attack on Baga.

In a statement, AI said the images ‎provided indisputable and shocking evidence of the scale of last week’s attack on the towns of Baga and Doron Baga by Boko Haram militants.

AI said before and after images of the two neighbouring towns, Baga (160 kilometres from Maiduguri) and Doron Baga (also known as Doro Gowon, 2.5 km from Baga), taken on 2 and 7 January showed the devastating effect of the attacks which left over 3,700 structures damaged or completely destroyed.

The organization said that other nearby towns and villages were also attacked over this period.

Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International said: “These detailed images show devastation of catastrophic proportions in two towns, one of which was almost wiped off the map in the space of four days.

“Of all Boko Haram assaults analysed by Amnesty International, this is the largest and most destructive yet. It represents a deliberate attack on civilians whose homes, clinics and schools are now burnt out ruins.”

AI said the analysis showed‎ just two of the many towns and villages that fell victim to a series of Boko Haram attacks which began on 3 January 2015.

According to AI, in Baga, a densely populated town less than two square kilometres in size, approximately 620 structures were damaged or completely destroyed by fire.

It said: "In Doron Baga over 3,100 structures were damaged or destroyed by fire affecting most of the 4 square kilometre town. Many of the wooden fishing boats along the shoreline, visible in the images taken on the 2 January, are no longer present in the 7 January images tallying with eye witnesses’ testimony that desperate residents fled by boat across Lake Chad.

"Thousands of people have fled the violence across the border to Chad and to other parts of Nigeria including Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. These people are adding to the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people and refugees, who have already stretched the capacity of host communities and government authorities.

Amnesty International called on the governments of Nigeria and Chad to ensure that displaced people were protected and provided with adequate humanitarian assistance.

It said that the destruction shown in these images matched the horrific testimonies that Amnesty International had gathered.

"Interviews with eyewitnesses as well as with local government officials and local human rights activists suggest that Boko Haram militants shot hundreds of civilians, Amnesty International said.

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