In April 2013, a battle between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military left some 185 people in the city of Baga dead, and thousands of homes destroyed. Today, reports out of the region suggest Boko Haram has finished the job, and Baga is “virtually nonexistent.”
Details of the Wednesday attack are still emerging, but district officials say Boko Haram attacked 16 nearby towns before advancing on, and destroying, Baga, and that around 2,000 civilians are believed to have been killed.
Getting an accurate death toll is virtually impossible, as civilians fled the city en masse, many fleeing into the waters of Lake Chad, and a number of people are now stranded on tiny islets in the lake.
Baga was the home base for French-sponsored joint military operations against Boko Haram, but the group still managed to take the city in less than a day, then set the whole thing ablaze and burned it more or less entirely to the ground.