A woman who escaped from Baga, a town in Borno State that recently fell under the control of Islamist terrorists Boko Haram, has told the BBC that the insurgent fighters are indiscriminately raping girls and middle-aged women trapped in the besieged town.
Boko Haram militants overran Baga after sacking a multi-national military base that had the task of defending the town. It is believed that the Islamist fighters may have killed as many as 2000 residents.
In one of the most intimate and chilling accounts of the state of affairs in the captured town, the escaped woman told a BBC Hausa service, monitored by our correspondent in Maiduguri, that Boko Haram fighters were engaged in incessant acts of rape. She also disclosed that the violent militants had instituted corporal punishment of residents as well as the enslavement of some of their victims.
The woman revealed that the militants were forcing women to partake in the burial of corpses that littered the town in the wake of the onslaught against it. In addition, the Boko Haram fighters were looting abandoned homes and shops in search of food.
“The Boko Haram fighters are controlling Baga, Doron Baga, Mile 3 and Mile 4. They are raping our daughters and punishing our people,” the woman said. She added: “They broke shops and hauled away foodstuff. They are burning houses. They don’t allow women to come out of the houses that are left. And they are forcing women to carry out burials.’’
The escapee also stated that the fighters preach Islamic tenets each morning and evening.