In The Home of Peace, A Siege of Fear

Dears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter the carnage and mayhem inflicted by Boko Haram. Or may in fact be making things worse.

Nigeria Violence

Boko Haram has shown increasing sophistication in its ability to mount coordinated attacks. This attack in the northeast town of Bama in May 2013 killed at least 42 people. (AP)

By Ibrahim Ahmed and Mike Eckel

MAIDUGURI, NIGERIA _  At the moment when the soldier slits the first throat, one body is already crumpled in the shallow grave, blood staining the sandy soil on the grave’s rim. In the background a line of victims sits patiently, as if waiting for a haircut at a barber shop.

The grainy video, shot on a cell phone the last week of May 2014, shows three men, wearing camouflage fatigues issued by the Nigerian military, some carrying AK-47 rifles and machetes, who are joined by two others wearing civilian clothes. In all, three executions are shown. The victims are believed to be either sympathizers or members of the violent Islamist terror group Boko Haram, or possibly innocent civilians. The soldiers appear to be Nigerian military.

Another soldier serving in the specially-created military task force struggling to contain the threat posed by Boko Haram provided the video to VOA. The soldier described the video, and others, as illustrative of the tactics being used to fight Boko Haram: “the military way.”