Boko Haram, a radical Islamic insurgency that has declared parts of northeast Nigeria for the caliphate, has driven thousands from their homes, churches, communities and businesses in an effort to expand its territorial control. Several Christian men have reportedly been beheaded, their wives sold into sexually and domestic servitude, and their children forcefully converted to Islam by Boko Haram militants.
09/08/2014 Nigeria (Sky News) – Panicked residents fled their homes in northeast Nigeria in fear of Boko Haram attacks while the military sought to recapture ground lost to the militants in recent weeks.
The exodus from Mubi, the commercial hub of Adamawa state, began on Sunday after the insurgents seized Michika 42 kilometres away the day before, heightening fears of an impending strike.
Nigeria’s military is under increasing pressure to stop Boko Haram, which has seized control of a number of towns in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states in recent weeks, prompting fears the government could soon lose control of the region.
On Monday, residents living near the airforce base in the Adamawa state capital, Yola, reported seeing an increase in sorties of military aircraft in the last few days.
But residents in Michika said airforce jets seen circling overhead were unable to bomb the insurgents because they had taken cover in civilian houses.
Nigeria’s military on Friday tried to retake Madagali, which fell into rebel hands last month, forcing troops to withdraw to Gulak, then to Mubi itself.
“With the fall of Michika into the hands of Boko Haram, Mubi is seen as their next destination,” Mubi resident Habu Bala told AFP.