Islamists Kill 70 in Northeast Nigeria, Christians Believed to Be Among the Dead

ICC Note: The Boko Haram Islamist terror group has targeted Christians, "secular" Muslims, and other religious minorities for conversion or extinction in a campaign of terror an religious cleansing across northern Nigeria. The latest reports indicate that the recent effort to counter the militants may have only increased the pace and breadth of Boko Haram's violence.

11/4/2013 Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed 70 people in three attacks in northeastern Nigeria in recent days, officials said on Monday, a sign that a military crackdown is failing to subdue the Islamist insurgency.

Boko Haram has killed hundreds of civilians and members of security forces in recent weeks, as it continues to resist an intensified military crackdown ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan more than five months ago.

The sect wants to carve out an Islamic state in a country split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, making it the biggest security threat to Africa's top oil exporter.

Gunmen fired on a convoy of people returning from a wedding party in Borno state on Saturday, killing 30 people, including the groom, said Ahmad Sajo, spokesman for neighboring Adamawa state. The military said only five were killed.

Further north in Borno's Gulumba village, gunmen on motorbikes and in a pick-up truck shot dead 27 people and wounded another 12 in the early hours of Thursday, the Chairman of Bama Local Government, Baba Shehu Gulumba, told reporters.

Gulumba said a further 13 people were killed on Saturday in a similar attack in nearby T-Junction village.

Insurgents also set houses ablaze and stole motorbikes, cars, livestock and 3.5 million naira ($22,100), he said.

Thousands have been killed since Boko Haram launched an uprising against the state in 2009, turning itself from a clerical movement opposed to Western culture into an armed militia with links to al Qaeda's West African wing.