Up to 2,000 are feared dead in an ongoing massacre after Boko Haram seized Baga, a town on Nigeria's border with Chad in Borno state. Amnesty International cited witness claims that the town was "razed to the ground." Hundreds of bodies remain strewn in the bush, where fighting has continued since the town's military base was overrun by the militants on Jan. 3. Said Daniel Eyre, Nigeria researcher for Amnesty International: "The attack on Baga and surrounding towns, looks as if it could be Boko Haram’s deadliest act in a catalogue of increasingly heinous attacks carried out by the group. [T]his marks a disturbing and bloody escalation of Boko Haram’s ongoing onslaught against the civilian population." Meanwhile in Potiskum, Yobe state, at least six people are dead after two suspected child suicide bombers blew themselves up in a market Jan. 11.
Boko Haram violence is believed to have killed more than 10,000 people last year alone. More than a million people are displaced within Nigeria and hundreds of thousands have fled across its borders into Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria. Cameroon's President Paul Biya just issued an urgent appeal for international military aid to fight Boko Haram incursions. (AI, Jan. 9; Al Jazeera, Jan. 11; Al Jazeera, Jan. 10; Reuters, Jan. 9)