Boko Haram has killed 253 in 2012

Jan. 24, 2012 at 7:02 PM

ABUJA, Nigeria, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The militant Islamist group Boko Haram has killed 253 people in various attacks in the first three weeks of 2012, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

The group began its campaign of violence in July 2009, and has so far killed more that 935 people in about 164 suspected attacks, including suicide bombings. They have claimed responsibility for bombings on churches, police stations, military facilities, bars and banks.

Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch, calls Boko Haram's wanton violence evidence of a "complete and utter disregard for human life."

"The Nigerian authorities need to call a halt to this campaign of terror and bring to justice those responsible for planning and carrying out these reprehensible crimes," she said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency Dec. 31 in parts of Bono, Niger, Plateau, and Yobe. In response, Boko Haram gave predominately Christian southern Nigerians three days to leave the North on Jan. 2. After the ultimatum deadline passed, more attacks followed.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Ted Cruz campaign pulls ad featuring softcore porn actress
Report: Clinton Foundation subpoenaed by State Dept. watchdog over charity projects
Ruby Rose, Gigi Hadid react to Kanye West's lyric about Taylor Swift
Kristen Wiig impersonates Peyton Manning on 'The Tonight Show'
NYC police officer found guilty of manslaughter in Brooklyn stairway shooting