Raids and suicide attacks by Boko Haram terrorists have wreaked havoc in northeast Nigeria and border areas of Cameroon in recent weeks. The mounting death toll shows once again that the group has no regard for individual human life or the lives of Nigerians and their neighbors as a whole.
The latest outage came January 11 when two suspected child bombers blew themselves up and killed three other people in a market in the town of Potiskam in Yobe state, a frequent target of the terror group. More than 20 people were reported wounded in the strike, which came a day after a bomb strapped to a girl said to be only 10 years old exploded in a busy market place in Maiduguri, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 20. These in turn followed the deaths of perhaps hundreds in the northeastern town of Baga, where Boko Haram fighters, not content with a killing spree, also burned down homes in two days of mindless violence after seizing control there.
The United States condemns the recent escalation of attacks on civilians carried out by Boko Haram. We extend our sympathies to the loved ones of all victims of violence at the hands of Boko Haram. All those responsible for these recurring terrorist attacks must be held accountable.
We are committed to working with Nigeria and its neighbors to end the scourge of Boko Haram, and we remain absolutely committed to helping the government meet its security needs. We urge Nigeria and its neighbors to take all possible steps to address the urgent threat of Boko Haram.
That said, even in the face of these horrifying attacks, terrorist organizations like Boko Haram must not distract Nigeria from carrying out credible and peaceful elections that reflect the will of the Nigerian people.