Boko Haram slaughtered as many as 2,000 people in an orgy of violence while the world watched news about a jihadi massacre and ensuing siege in Paris.
The attack in Baga, Nigeria is now the second-deadliest terrorist attack in modern history, behind the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Survivors reported seeing “bodies in the street” and said “the whole town was on fire.”
The majority of casualties were “children, women and elderly people who could not run fast enough,” local officials told The Associated Press. Another official told the BBC the city is now “virtually non-existent.”
Amnesty International has corroborated the 2,000-person death toll estimate, and many thousands have been driven into adjacent areas, fleeing for their lives.
The group raided a military base in the area less than a week ago, with Nigerian, Cameroonian and Chadian soldiers running away rather than standing their ground. (RELATED: Boko Haram Storms International Base)
Unlike many terrorist groups, Boko Haram is completely indiscriminate in its destruction, killing Muslims, Christians and anyone else that stands in its path. It justifies attacks against Muslims by calling them “infidels” who fail to meet its own standards for Islamic behavior.
Baga lies in a region near Lake Chad, where some drowned as they tried to escape. Boko Haram has controlled swathes of Nigeria’s north for years, most famously kidnapping a group of over 200 schoolgirls in April of 2014.
The Nigerian government, whose power is concentrated in the country’s south, has been largely unable to deter the organization’s advances, distracted by a declining economy and an upcoming election.
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