Nigerians Push for Military Pullout After Last Week’s Civilian Massacre

Unrepentant Soldiers Blast Civilians for 'Harboring' Terrorists

A few dozen people get killed in incidents in Nigeria so often that it barely registers as a story sometimes. 30 people being killed is usually a story that begins and ends the same day, but not last week’s massacre in Maiduguri, which is sparking growing resentment against the nation’s security forces deployed in the city.

Last Monday, Nigerian soldiers reacted to a bombing against their convoy by attacking an entire neighborhood in Maiduguri, killing 30 civilians and burning scores of homes and businesses in the area, initially claiming all the slain were “Boko Haram.”

Maiduguri residents already resented the military’s checkpoints and the treatment of the city as virtual occupied territory. After the massacre, many are openly demanding the military be withdrawn from the city, saying they are causing more violence than they are solving.

Soldiers are openly shrugging off the complaints about the massacre, however, and say that the civilians are to blame for “harboring” Boko Haram in the first place. Officials say the deployment will continue because they need a military victory over the faction “at any cost.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.