Date
17 December 2017
Before and after satellite images show large-scale destruction in Doro Gowon, Nigeria. Photo: Digital Globe
Before and after satellite images show large-scale destruction in Doro Gowon, Nigeria. Photo: Digital Globe

Satellite images show destruction by Boko Haram

A new analysis of satellite images shows the devastation caused by Boko Haram’s scorched-earth attacks on civilians, The New York Times reported.

Thousands of buildings were burned, damaged or destroyed in northern Nigerian towns this month when the militants stormed through them, the newspaper cited human rights groups as saying.

Fighters from the Islamist insurgent group that has taken control of much of northern Nigeria and battled the government for years have swept through a cluster of villages along the shores of Lake Chad in a “systematic campaign of arson directed against the civilian population in the area”, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

About 57 percent of one town, Doro Gowon, the location of a now destroyed military base, appears to have been leveled, probably amounting to several thousand residential and commercial structures, HRW said.

Amnesty International, which has also analyzed the satellite images, said Thursday about 3,100 buildings in the town had been damaged or destroyed, demonstrating a “deliberate attack on civilians whose homes, clinics and schools are now burnt-out ruins”.

In last year’s first six months, Boko Haram killed more than 2,000 civilians in northern and central Nigeria, HRW estimated last year.

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