Massacre in Nigeria: Nigeria’s military denied reports that some soldiers were responsible or linked to a massacre in Baga, located in the country’s north, during clashes between the military and rebels.
In the incident, more than 200 civilians were likely killed and the village was set on fire, reported The New York Times. The number of civilians killed was denied by the Nigerian military and some officials have blamed the carnage on the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
Senator Maina Maaji Lawan told PM News Nigeria that 288 civilians were killed, around six times more than the official estimate given by the military.
“I personally visited three graveyards in Baga and counted 228 graves where victims had been buried,” said Lawan.
He said that 4,000 homes were also destroyed and added that without proper aid, there will likely be a humanitarian crisis.
Defense spokesman Chris Olukolade told PM that the military did not order the arrest of any soldiers in connection with the massacre.
“This is indeed false in its entirety,” he said, adding that “at no point” did the government or military “order the arrest of any of its soldiers in connection with the incident in Baga.”
“The loss of human lives should not be taken with levity or unnecessary sensationalism as some interest groups appear bent on doing,” he continued.
Reuters reported that more than 100 soldiers were mobilized after intelligence pointed that Boko Haram militants moved to Baga, a town located on the shores of Lake Chad.
The militants resisted the soldiers’ advances, using machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and improvised explosives.