As Buhari, regional leaders plan final onslaught, Boko Haram kills 43 in new Nigeria raids

The attacks came on the day Nigerian president pledged $100 million to a regional force at a meeting with the presidents of Chad, Niger and Benin.

BOKO  Haram gunmen killed at least 43 people and burnt down three villages in northeast Nigeria, residents told news agency AFP Thursday, the latest in an upsurge of attacks by the Islamist militants.

Dozens of the rebels on motorcycles stormed Matangale, Buraltima and Dirmanti in restive Borno state on Tuesday, opening fire on villagers and then looting and burning homes, fleeing residents said.

The attacks came on the day Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari pledged $100 million to a regional force against the Islamist militants at a meeting with the presidents of Chad, Niger, Benin, and the defence minister of Cameroon.

Buhari called for international assistance to help sustain funding for the Multinational Joint Task Force comprising troops from Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon.

“Our campaign against Boko Haram must be seen within the wider context of the global war against terror,” he said in his speech in the capital, Abuja. 

“Terrorism has no frontiers and must, because of the great implication for regional and global peace and security, be defeated.”

Boko Haram has killed tens of thousands of people in northeastern Nigeria and neighboring countries in its six-year- old campaign to impose its version of Islamic law, or Shariah, on Africa’s most populous country. 

Nigeria’s about 180 million population is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south.

One of Buhari’s first acts after he was sworn in as president of Africa’s biggest economy on May 29 was to visit leaders in neighbouring Niger and Chad for talks on regional cooperation against the Islamist militants.

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