Nigerian wedding turns bloody, 30 dead

Nigerian wedding turns bloody, 30 dead
Sun Nov 3, 2013 22:34:31

At least 30 members of a wedding party are dead after being ambushed on a rural road in Borno State on north-eastern Nigeria, according to multiple media reports.

A wedding convoy was returning to state capital Maiduguri from the neighboring district along the mountainous Bama-Banki highway, which has become notorious for frequent attacks by Boko Haram, an extremist group, when attackers opened fire.

Eyewitnesses told local media that the groom, identified by his wedding robes, was among the dead, and bodies with gunshot and knife wounds were scattered across the road.

The region is at the heart of an ongoing extremist insurgency.

The massacre follows a pattern of escalating violence in the region in recent months, as the military steps up its efforts to root out the loosely-structured Boko Haram.

The group, whose name is translated as ‘Western education is sinful’ from Hausa, is known for attacking government and civilian targets, including churches and schools.

The winding Bama-Banki passageway, which connects Nigeria with Cameroon, is a particular hotspot for disruptive activities, as Boko Haram often barricade the road, hijack cars, and attack army checkpoints along its route.

Last week Boko Haram fighters also made an assault on the city of Damaturu, destroying four police buildings in a five-hour gun battle, with official reports suggesting that more than 120 people died, including dozens of bystanders.

In turn, the government says it has taken out several Boko Haram strongholds, claiming the deaths of more than 100 insurgents in the past fortnight alone.

Nigeria, which has a population of over 170 million, is composed almost equally of Muslims and Christians, though the former dominate the north, and the latter the southern coastal areas.


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