What started as crude attacks on government institutions in Borno State in 2009 has snowballed into more daring and well coordinated attacks carried out with extraordinary sophistication and precision. The Boko Haram terrorist organization, which started as an Islamic sect has since become the most dreaded group of people in Nigeria. With a casualty figure in tens of thousands and destruction of properties running into billions of Nigeria, the dreaded sect has given the whole world something to worry about.
From cutlass wielding thugs, members of the sect have graduated into a well trained army with specialization in the use of assault rifles, anti-aircraft guns, improvised explosive devices and even armoured personnel carriers. Their victims cut across all sectors of the population: women and children, men, traditional rulers, politicians, government officials, tourists, even churches and mosques arew not spared.
Though it is extremely difficult to capture and report all the attacks the group has carried out, in this piece, Street Journal takes a look at the chronicle of terror unleashed on Nigeria by Boko Haram in the last 5 years.
June 11-12, 2009: Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf threatened reprisal attacks in a video recording directed to the president following the killing of 17 members of the Boko Haram sect in a joint military and police operation in Borno State.
The killing of the 17 was after a disagreement over the sect’s members’ alleged refusal to put on crash helmets while in a funeral procession to bury members who had died in a car accident.
July 26, 2009: Boko Haram members launched a short-lived uprising in some parts of the north. The uprising was quelled by a military crackdown that left more than 800 people dead – mostly sect members. Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of the sect was also slain in circumstances that have been described as extra judicial.
The mosque that served as the headquarters of the sect in Maiduguri was burnt down.
September 7, 2010: Armed with rifles, a group of Boko Haram members invaded a prison facility in Bauchi and freed over 700 inmates including around 100 sect members. Four people including a soldier, one policeman and two residents were killed in the raid.
December 24 and 27, 2010: Boko Haram unleashed a series of attacks in the central city of Jos and Maiduguri, killing at least 86 people.
December 29, 2010: Eight people, including the governorship candidate of the ruling All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in Borno State were shot dead by suspected Boko Haram members.
May 27, 2011: About 70 Boko Haram members killed eight people including four policemen in a coordinated gun and bomb attack on a police station, a police barracks and a bank in Damboa, Borno State, near the border with Chad.
May 29, 2011: 13 people were killed and 33 wounded as three bombs ripped through a drinking joint in a military barracks in Bauchi. Boko Haram later claimed responsibility for the attack.
June 6, 2011: Ibrahim Birkuti, an Islamic cleric known to be critical of the Boko Haram was shot dead by two Boko Haram members on motorcycle outside his house in Biu, about 200km from Maiduguri.
June 7, 2011: 14 people were killed following attacks on a church and two police posts in
June 16, 2011: A suicide bomber killed himself and a police officer during a hit on the police headquarters in Abuja.
June 20, 2011: Seven people including five policemen were killed in gun and bomb attacks on a police station and a bank in Kankara, Katsina State.
June 27, 2011: An attack on a drinking joint in Maiduguri left at least people 25 dead and dozens injured.
July 2011: The Federal Government disclosed that it will open a negotiation panel
to start talks with Boko Haram.
August 3, 2011: In a swift turnaround, the Federal Government rejected negotiations with
August 25, 2011: Coordinated gun and bomb attacks by Boko Haram on two police
stations and two banks in Gombi, Adamawa State, left at least 16 people, including seven policemen dead.
August 26, 2011: A suicide bomb attack on the UN compound in Abuja, killed 23 people. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing.
September 1, 2011: A Boko Haram member was killed and another captured following a shootout between insurgents and soldiers in Song, Adamawa State.
September 4, 2011: Malam Dala, a Muslim cleric was shot dead by two Boko Haram members outside his home in the Zinnari area of Maiduguri.
September 12, 2011: Seven men, including four policemen were killed during attacks on a
police station and a bank in Misau, Bauchi State.
September 13, 2011: Four soldiers were shot and wounded in an ambush by Boko Haram members in Maiduguri shortly after the arrest of 15 sect members in military raids on Boko Haram hideouts in the
September 17, 2011: Babakura Fugu, brother-in-law to the slain Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf, was shot dead outside his house in Maiduguri two days after attending a peace meeting with Nigeria’s ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in the city. Though Boko Haram denied any involvement in the incident, there were reports that known members of the sect, including the deceased’s brother were involved in the killing.
October 1, 2011: A butcher and his assistant were killed by gunmen at Baga market in Maiduguri in a targeted killing. Three other people, all civilians were killed in a shoot-out that trailed attacks on a military patrol vehicle delivering food to soldiers at a checkpoint in Maiduguri.
October 3, 2011: An attack on Baga market in Maiduguri, Borno State left 3 people dead. The victims included a tea-seller, a drug store owner and a passer-by.
October 23, 2011: A policeman and a bank security guard were killed in bombing and shooting attacks on a police station and two banks in Saminaka, Kaduna State.
Two others were killed when Boko Haram members opened fire on a market in the
town of Katari in Kaduna State.
October 25, 2011: A policeman was shot dead in his house in a targeted attack by suspected Boko Haram members in Damaturu, Yobe State.
October 29, 2011: Sheikh Ali Jana’a, a Muslim cleric was gunned down outside his home in the Bulabulin Ngarnam neighbourhood of Maiduguri. Jana’a was known to have provided information to security forces regarding the dreaded sect.
November 2011: The Boko Haram sect made it known that it will not go into dialogue with the
government until all of its members who have been arrested are released.
November 2, 2011: A soldier on duty was shot dead by members of the Boko Haram sect outside Maiduguri’s main market.
November 4, 2011: Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima escaped death as his convoy was attacked by Boko Haram members in Maiduguri as the Governor was returning home from the airport shortly after he arrived from Abuja.
About 150 people were killed in coordinated attacks on police facilities in Damaturu and Potiskum in Yobe State.
Two suicide-bombers blew themselves up outside the military Joint Task Force headquarters in Maiduguri in a botched suicide attack.
November 9, 2011: The office of the Federal Road Safety Corps and a police station were bombed in Maina village, Borno State. No life was lost.
November 26, 2011: Three policemen and a civilian were wounded in Geidam, Yobe State. Six
churches, a police station, a beer parlour, a shopping complex, a high court, a local council building and 11 cars were burnt in the coordinated attacks on the town.
November 27, 2011: A protocol officer in the office of
the Borno State Governor was shot dead as he was driving home by armed men on a motorcycle.
December 4, 2011: The train of terror again moved to Bauchi State as a soldier, a policeman and a civilian were killed in separate attacks on police buildings and two banks in Azare, Bauchi State.
Boko Haram members opened fire at a wedding in Maiduguri, killing the groom and a guest.
December 7, 2011: 8 people were killed in an explosion in the Oriyapata district of Kaduna city.
December 14, 2011: 10 people were killed and 30 injured as Boko Haram members hurled explosives at a military check point. The soldiers engaged the insurgents in a shoot out.
December 17, 2011: 3 policemen and 4 members of the Boko Haram terrorist group were killed during a shootout that followed a raid on the hideout of a Boko Haram leader in the Darmanawa area of Kano.
14 Boko Haram suspects were arrested while a large amount of arms and bombs was seized fby the police.
Three members of the Boko Haram sect also died in an accidental explosion while assembling
home-made bombs in a hideout on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
December 19, 2011: One suspected terrorist died and two others were wounded in an accidental explosion while assembling a home-made bomb in a hideout in Damaturu.
December 22, 2011: 20 people were killed during a bomb attack in Maiduguri.
Four policemen and a civilian were killed as gunmen attacked a police building in Potiskum, Yobe State. About 100 people were killed after multiple explosions and the resultant gun battle in Pompomari on the outskirts of Damaturu.
December 30, 2011: Four Muslim worshippers were killed in an attack targeting a military checkpoint in
Maiduguri shortly after Friday prayers.
December 25, 2011: The Boko Haram sect launched a deadly bomb attack on St Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla town near Abuja and killed 42 worshippers who went for the Christmas morning mass.
Three operatives of the State Security Service (SSS)and a suicide bomber died when the bomber
rammed his bomb-laden car into a military convoy at the gates of SSS the headquarters in Damaturu.
A policeman was killed in a botched bomb attack on a church in the Ray Field area of
Jos, Plateau State.
December 28, 2011: A gun attack on a drinking joint in the town of Mubi, Adamawa State left 15 people with varying degrees of injuries.
January 1, 2012: President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency on 15 local government areas hardest-hit by Boko Haram terror attacks, in Borno, Yobe and Plateau states. He also ordered the
closure of Nigerian borders in the north.
January 3, 2012: A teenage girl was killed while a police officer was injured when Boko Haram gunmen attacked a police station in Birniwa in Jigawa State.
January 5, 2012: The Boko Haram sect moved its killing spree to Gombe, killing six worshippers and wounding 10 others during an attack on a church.
January 6, 2012: Gunmen swooped on a church in Yola, Adamawa State, killing 8 people in the process.
In Mubi, the sect killed 17 Christian mourners. The victims are friends and relations of one of five people killed in a BH attack on a hotel the previous day.
January 12, 2012: Three Christian poker players were killed and seven others wounded by Boko Haram gunmen in the town of Biu.
January 9, 2012: An operative of the SSS and his civilian friend were gunned down as they left a mosque in Biu, Borno State, 200km south of the state capital, Maiduguri.
The president stated that Boko Haram has infiltrated the executive, parliamentary and judicial arms of government.
January 10, 2012: eight people, including five policemen and a teenage girl were killed during an attack on a drinking joint in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State.
January 11, 2012: Four Christians were killed by Boko Haram gunmen who opened fire on their vehicle when they stopped to buy fuel in Potiskum, Yobe State. The victims had been fleeing Maiduguri to their home town in eastern Nigeria.
January 13, 2012: Boko Haram members killed four and injured two others, including a policeman, in two separate attacks on bars in Yola (Adawama State) and Gombe city in neighbouring
January 17, 2012: Two soldiers and four insurgents lost their lives during an attack on a military checkpoint in Maiduguri, Borno State.
6 high-profile Boko Haram members were arrested in a raid on the group’s hideout in the city of Maiduguri.
January 18, 2012: Kabiru Abubakar “Sokoto”, a key suspect in the 2011 Christmas Day bombing in Abuja, which killed more than 40 people, escaped from police custody.
January 22, 2012: Boko Haram attacked Bauchi, killing 11 people and injuring several others
February 3, 2012: A Boko Haram attack on a police station in Kogi State left four people dead.
March 11, 2012: Boko Haram attacked a church in Jos killing 10 and injuring several others
March 24, 2012: 2 people were killed while many others were injured as the sect attacked Kano.
April 8, 2012: In a church attack in Jos, Boko Haram killed 20 people and injured several others
April 8, 2012: Boko Haram attacked Kaduna killing 40 and injuring several others
April 25, 2012: 7 lives were lost during an attack on the Police Headquarters in Maiduguri, Borno State. Many others were injured.
April 26, 2012: Abuja came under attack, six people died and many escaped with injuries.
April 29, 2012: Gun wielding Boko Haram members attacked Bayero University, Kano killing 16 and injuring several others
April 30, 2012: Gunmen believed to be Boko Haram members attacked Taraba killing 11 and
injuring several others
June 3, 2012: 12 people died when Bauchi came under attack.
July 30, 2012 : In Zaria, an attack killed 5 people and injured several others.
May 7, 2013: Boko Haram attacked Bama and killed 55 people.
July 6, 2013: In an attack on Yobe State, 42 people were killed and several others injured.
February 12, 2014: 39 people were killed by Boko Haram members in Konduga.
February 16, 2014: : Boko Haram attacked a village in Borno, killed 90 and wounded many more.
February 19, 2014: Bama was attacked again and this time, the death toll was not less than 60 while the injured could not be counted. Houses were also torched by the terrorists.
February 25, 2014: Boko Haram attacked Buni Yadi killing 59 people and injuring several others
March 1, 2014 : In a Boko Haram onslaught against Maiduguri, 51 people were killed and many others were injured.
March 1, 2014: 39 people were killed when Boko Haram attacked Mainokri.
April 10, 2014 : Boko Haram attacked Bala Balge killing 60 people and injuring several others
April 10, 2014: In Dikwa, Boko Haram killed 8 people and set houses ablaze.
April 14, 2014: Boko Haram members set up explosives at a park in Abuja. More than 100 people wee killed as a result. The same day, more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in Chibok, Borno State.
May 1, 2014: Abuja was attacked again with more than 19 people dead.
May 5, 2014 : Boko Haram attacked Gamboru Ngala killing several people and injuring several others.
May 18, 2014 : 4 people were killed in Kano by Boko Haram members.
May 20, 2014: Suspected Boko Haram members attacked Jos killing 108 and injuring 56 people.
May 21, 2014 : In an attack on Chikongudo, 25 people were killed.
May 25, 2014 : Boko Haram attacked Yobe killing 54 people and injuring several others
May 27, 2014 : Boko Haram killed 48 people, wounded some and rendered many homeless in Borno State.
May 31, 2014: 40 people were killed in Kala Balge by Boko Haram members.
June 1, 2014: Boko Haram attacked Mudi killing no fewer than 40 people and injuring many others
June 23, 2014: The Kano State capital was attacked by Boko Haram members who killed over 12 people
July 14, 2014: The insurgents descended on Borno killing over 26 people and injuring many others
July 23 2014: Former Head of State, Gen Muhammadu Buhari escaped death in a suicide bomb attack that killed over 80 people.
July 24, 2014: One person was killed in a bomb explosion set off by Boko Haram members.