Nigeria’s president declared a state of emergency Tuesday across the country’s troubled northeast, promising to send more troops to fight an increasingly violent Islamic insurgency.
Islamist sect Boko Haram — whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language of Nigeria’s north — has intensified its attacks on security forces and government targets in its northeast stronghold this month, prompting President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in certain states.
Last week, dozens of Boko Haram fighters in buses and machine gun-mounted trucks laid siege to the town of Bama, in Borno, killing 55, mostly police and other security forces, and freeing more than 100 prison inmates. Days earlier, scores were killed in the fishing village of Baga, also in Borno, on the shores of Lake Chad, when troops from Nigeria, Niger and Chad raided it looking for Islamists. Local residents said soldiers were responsible for many civilian deaths.