The commander of Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group fighting an armed insurgency in Nigeria’s northern states, claimed in a video released on Monday that the group has taken women and children hostage after a raid on a northern Nigerian town. The commander went on to explain that the group is fighting a war against Christianity in northern Nigeria, striving to establish a separate Islamic state based on the group’s fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic Sharia. As the group continues to perpetrate acts of violence against Christians in northern Nigeria, the government and international community continues to do nothing. So far, the best solution Nigeria has come up with is to grant Boko Haram militants amnesty for their crimes in hopes that the militants will lay down their arms.
5/14/2013 Nigeria (IOL News) – The commander of Nigeria’s Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed in a video released on Monday that the group abducted women and children from police barracks in a town recently attacked by his forces.
The undated video seen by reporters shows Boko Haram leader Abu Shekau with women and children, whom he claimed to be holding captive in retaliation for the arrests by Nigerian authorities of relatives of Boko Haram members.
Demanding the release of sect members and their families, Shekau said: “If you think that you can free these women and children from us, then come out and face us.”
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin”, has been waging an insurgency since 2009 in Africa’s most populous country.
Sitting next to an AK-47 rifle on a table covered with a rug, Shekau said in the local Hausa language that the group’s mission is to fight “the government that is fighting with Islam, government of democracy, constitution and literacy”.
Wearing a military uniform, he said Boko Haram was fighting Christians and anyone allied with them.
Shekau claimed responsibility for last week’s attack on Bama town in Borno state in north-eastern Nigeria. In the attack on a police station, at least 42 people died, including police officers and civilians.
Shekau denied killing civilians during a mid-April attack on Baga, a fishing village on Lake Chad.
By some reports, nearly 200 people died and more than 2 000 homes were destroyed in Baga in Borno State – a stronghold of the Islamist extremists – after Nigerian security forces allegedly went on a rampage following a Boko Haram attack on April 17.