They’re rogue armed men in military fatigues who sweep through the cities and towns of northeastern Nigeria, killing civilians or taking them away, never to be seen again.
If the description matches the Nigerian extremist group, Boko Haram, think again. The alleged killers described in a report Wednesday by the London-based rights group Amnesty International are Nigerian soldiers.
Amnesty said abuses by Nigeria’s military caused the deaths of more than 8,000 civilians in the battle against Boko Haram. They include about 1,200 who were the victims of extrajudicial executions since February 2012, and 7,000 who died of mistreatment in detention since March 2011, according to the report.
Some starved to death. Others died of thirst or suffocated to death in poorly ventilated cells jammed with prisoners. And some died when soldiers fumigated the cells with mosquito poison, the report said.