The Islamist Boko Haram group has seized the town of Baga in northeastern Nigeria, one of the last cities in the region under government control, killing many locals and setting the town ablaze, BBC said, citing local residents who fled by boat to neighboring Chad.
According to the broadcaster, troops abandoned a local military base following the militants’ attack on Saturday. The base was used by a multinational force, which battles the insurgents. The group reportedly also kidnapped 40 young boys and men in a nearby village.
Boko Haram is a militant group, which aims at establishing an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. Large swathes of land in the Borno State, as well as in neighboring Adamawa and Yobe are believed to be under control of the Islamists. Boko Haram insurgency left over 10,000 people dead.
The group drew international outrage after kidnapping 276 schoolgirls from the Chibok village in April 2014 and subjecting them to physical, psychological and sexual abuse for refusing to convert to Islam.