Boko Haram battle, a tough fight – US State Department




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The Islamic militant group, Boko Haram is believed have been behind the down of the Nigerian Air force helicopter that was on a training mission around state, according reports by the International Business Times, and Catholic World, including local daily claims.

Nigeria’s military helicopter ‘take down,’ coupled with the recent take- of the town of Damboa, in the State, was called part of ‘a tough fight’ by Marie Harf, the U.S. State Department Deputy Spokeswoman. Her comments came Wednesday during the department press briefing in Washington, monitored by a SaharaReporters correspondent.

Two Air force personnel were reportedly in the crash but confirmation out of Abuja and spokesmen remains murky at press time.

The Mi-35 -helicopter was flying the south of Bama which is close the rebel-held town of Damboa, when it lost contact with the communication center and was later found have crashed.

The helicopter was on a training mission and was shot down by Boko Haram insurgents on Monday, reported the Nigerian daily, The Punch.

Nigerian government officials have maintained that the helicopter had crashed a technical failure, but a probe has been ordered. “Investigation has commenced unravel the circumstances that led the accident,” Director of Information, Major General Chris Olukolade told the daily.

The vigilante force made up of local residents defending the town, fled when it ran out of ammunition. Damboa is one of the biggest towns in state and a significant trading center, the BBC reported. [eap_ad_1]boko haram1 Fighting around the town has damaged electricity stations, leaving the regional capital of without power for three weeks. The capital is about 53 miles the captured area.

Since 2009, Boko Haram has led an insurgency with the goal of creating an Islamic state. It drew international attention earlier this year when it kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls, many of whom are still held prisoner.

Nigeria’s government has faced heavy criticism for failing to rescue the girls and end the insurgency.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan asked the country’s National to borrow $1 billion to fund a military response, but the broke for a two-month recess before approving the request.

Some Nigerian soldiers say they are outgunned by Boko Haram. Critics say that much of Nigeria’s $6 billion military budget is lost to . The military has come under criticism for abuses against civilians.

In June, Bishop Matthew Kukah of northern Nigeria’s Diocese of Sokoto told CNA that Boko Haram has gained power due to the weakness of the local government and the loss of credibility of the local Muslim lawyer class.

Kukah blamed “years of ” and “mismanagement of state ,” for consigning citizens to “misery and squalor.” He said Boko Haram are “purely and simply criminals,” though they have some grievances similar to those of ordinary Nigerians opposed to and poverty.

The Boko Haram uprising has been bloody. At least 2,053 civilians have been in an estimated 95 attacks in the first six months of 2014. Previously, about 3,600 civilians had died in the conflict. The U.S. government only recognized Boko Haram as a terrorist group in 2013, after years of lobbying Christian groups and other human rights advocates.

Comments Harf on Nigeria came at the tail end of Wednesday’s State Department briefing in Washington that focused mostly on events out of the Middle East and the downed Malaysian Jet in the Ukraine. Harf said that the U.S. ‘strongly condemned’ the recent take-over of Damboa, and that American support to Nigerian military officials in fight against the Islamist insurgents was “on-going.” (Sahara Reporters)[eap_ad_4]