Satellite images show devastation of Boko Haram attacks, rights groups say
konknaijaboy | On 15, Jan 2015
Northern Nigeria (CNN)Charred ground and cinders mark the sites where once thousands of homes stood. That’s according to a series of satellite images released Thursday by Amnesty International, which the rights group said shows the “horrific scale” of the devastation wrought by Boko Haram militants.
As they’ve trickled out, accounts of the bloody attacks on the northern Nigerian town of Baga and surrounding villages have shocked even those all too used to reports of violence by Boko Haram militants.
Witnesses told how the attackers sped into the town on January 3 with grenade launchers — their gunfire and explosions shattering the early morning calm. Some terrified residents fled, while others took refuge in their homes — and were torched with them.
Local officials reported death tolls ranging from hundreds to as many as 2,000 people. But authorities have yet to access the remote area near the border with Chad to get a full picture.
Amnesty International said that satellite images taken on January 2 and five days later “provide indisputable and shocking evidence” of the extent of the destruction in Baga and neighboring village of Doron Baga, also known as Doro Gowon.
The before-and-after images demonstrate that the attacks left more than 3,700 structures damaged or destroyed, the rights group said.
More than 3,100 of those were in Doron Baga, which was “nearly wiped off the map,” it said.
Other nearby towns and villages in Borno state were also targeted in the series of attacks that started on January 3.
‘Deliberate attack on civilians’
“These detailed images show devastation of catastrophic proportions in two towns, one of which was almost wiped off the map in the space of four days,” said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International.
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