Tuesday, April 28, 2015 5:45 pm
A Nigerian civilian team who visited the liberated town of Damasak in Borno state, was shocked with the discovery of hundreds of skeletons of children, women and men believed killed by Boko Haram.
The team also found bodies of decomposing men presumed to be Boko Haram fighters, killed when the town was retaken in March.
The Nigerian visitors, including senator-elect Abubakar Kyari and Babagana Mustapha, spokesman of Mobbar local council, entered Damasak on Saturday with the help of Chadian soldiers, who provided the escorts.
“I know that there was a large-scale atrocity, but I cannot tell you the precise number of dead bodies,” Senator-elect Abubakar Kyari on Monday told reporters in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital 180 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Damasak, which borders Niger.
The multinational force has pushed Boko Haram out of all areas of northeastern Nigeria, except for the Sambisa Forest, said military spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade.
The forest is where Boko Haram took more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls a year ago. The forest has been pounded by air raids for weeks and ground troops reportedly entered it last week.
Olukolade on Tuesday denied reports that the troops retreated from Sambisa because of land mines.
Boko Haram’s Islamic uprising is blamed for the deaths of as many as 10,000 people last year and some 1.5 million people have been forced from their homes.