By: Richard Meyer ~Copy Editor~
The Nigerian Islamic militant group Boko Haram attempted to take control of Borno’s capital city on Feb. 1.
Boko Haram translates as“Western education is forbidden,” and the group was founded in 2002, originally meant to oppose any form of Western education. The extremist group formed a military in 2009 in an attempt to become an Islamic State. The United States declared it a terrorist group in 2013.
The attack marked the second time in one week that the militant group has attempted to take the city.
The Nigerian army successfullyfought off an attack from Boko Haram on Jan. 25, but the group of extremists was able to capture the military base in the nearby town of Monguno. Monguno had served as the first line of defense in attempting to prevent the capture of Maiduguri.
The battle began around 3 a.m. on Feb. 1 when the militants attempted a crusade on the city of Maiduguri but were met at the edge of the town by government and citizen troops who subdued them.
Hundreds of vigilante citizens and Nigerian soldiers banded together to halt the attack. The Nigerian military also launched airstrikes at the militant army. The citizens “sacrificed their lives and moved to front lines to support our gallant armed forces in a patriotic battle to defend the soul of Borno State and its people from being seized by determined insurgents,” Borno Governor Kashim Shettima said.
“I am confident that as a people, we can overcome the threat of insurgents whose desire is to send us, our families and communities into extinction,” Shettima said. “Borno is our land, we cannot and we must not allow anyone to push us out of our land.”