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Amnesty International Releases Satellite Images Of Boko Haram Wreckage



Shocking satellite images of destroyed towns and razed houses have confirmed eyewitness accounts that Boko Haram slaughtered hundreds of people this month in its worst-ever massacre in Nigeria, human rights groups say.
The wave of savage attacks continued relentlessly for several days after Boko Haram captured the Baga military base on Jan. 3. The Nigerian military has insisted that only 150 people died, including militants, but the newly released satellite images suggest a far more horrifying toll.
Satellite pictures obtained by Amnesty International show the towns of Baga and Doron Baga on January 2 – before the attack – and five days later, 3700 structures have been damaged or destroyed.
According to Daniel Eyre, researcher for Amnesty International, who has spent the last week compiling eye-witness accounts, gunmen went house to house, pulling people out and shooting them. Residents of the town fled into the bush, but Boko Haram men were waiting for them there, hiding in the trees, and shooting anyone who passed.
Eye-witnesses talk of hundreds of bodies in the streets, but they were fleeing too fast to stop and count. Government officials at first were silent and then came out with contradictory numbers.
“But it’s important to note that Boko Haram kill all civilians, not just the militia,” he said.
Alexis Okeowo, one of the best and bravest journalists in Nigeria, has also reflected on the impossibility of getting reliable death tolls from a place where journalists risk being killed or kidnapped
She is, however, sure that this situation is not inevitable.
‘The sad fact is that Boko Haram could have been defeated by now, by a more competent and more determined Nigerian government,’ she writes.
The images show more than 3,700 damaged or destroyed houses in just two of the estimated 16 towns and fishing villages that the Islamist extremist militia attacked around Baga in northeastern Nigeria on the shores of Lake Chad, according to Amnesty International, one of the groups that released the satellite images.

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