On Monday, Islamic militant group Boko Haram led a devastating offensive on the town of Bama, and while they were initially said to have been beaten back by government forces, by Tuesday, they reportedly returned, ultimately adding the area to their ever-increasing caliphate. Now, Boko Haram is reportedly refusing for residents to bury their dead, meaning that corpses are littering the streets, reports the BBC.
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While reports indicated that Bama, which had a population of 270,000, had been overtaken by the militants early in the week, Borno State Governor Zannah Umar Mustapha initially denied that claim, saying government forces were still actively involved in defending the area.
By Tuesday, though, Boko Haram reportedly reappeared with “reinforcements,” effectively displacing 26,391 people, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.
According to the BBC, “Mr. [Ahmed] Zanna, [Borno State senator], said government forces had ‘gallantly’ defended Bama, before it fell to Boko Haram.”
Now that the town has fallen to Boko Haram, they are reportedly refusing for the dead to be buried.
“So many bodies litter the streets, and people are not allowed to even go and bury the dead ones. So the situation is getting worse and worse,” Zanna said.
Boko Haram has been gaining control of northeastern Nigeria at an unprecedented pace. In addition to Bama, they also reportedly have control of Gwoza, Madagali, Dikwa, Ngala, Marte, Damboa, and Buni Yadi.
Zanna expressed his fears that Boko Haram would be looking to take over Maiduguri next, calling that impending takeover “catastrophic.” Maiduguri has a population of more than 2 million.
Therefore, he plead for the government to send the necessary resources to ensure Maiduguri doesn’t fall too.
“I’m begging the government to send more troops and armoury to Maiduguri,” he said.