January 30, 2015
On Sunday, Boko Haram insurgents swept through the northeast Nigerian city of Maidguri in one of their boldest attacks yet. The group staged what has become a more familiar tactic in their assaults, which is to first destabilize military soldiers. The attack occurred just a few hours after the country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, made a campaign stop in the city ahead of the February elections, and the Defense Headquarters of Nigeria issued an immediate curfew via Twitter.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry was in Nigeria and had met with Jonathan just hours before the attack. In a statement to the media, he said, “The group that calls itself Boko Haram continues to kill scores of innocent civilians and attack villages and military installations in places like Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states. The United States condemns these attacks which have escalated in recent weeks. And we extend our deepest condolences to the thousands of families that have been impacted, and we deeply regret the toll that this violence has taken on the Nigerian people.”
In January and February 2014, photographer Andy Spyra revisited several additional villages and churches in North Nigeria that had been destroyed by car bombings. The insurgent’s strongholds toward neighboring Chad and Cameroon had expanded, along with a growing number of civilian deaths and kidnappings. Endless hours of waiting, seeking and talking with residents on the ground yielded heartbreaking photos, including one of a young girl whose arm had been severed in an attack, but also eerie and rare images of a device that presumably tracks the number of civilian deaths by insurgents via a cellphone app.
Source: Washington Post