Niger Republic has said it will not be involved in any attempt to recapture the key north-east Nigerian town of Baga from the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram. Bodies reportedly lay strewn on the streets of the town following an assault by the Islamists on Wednesday, with hundreds feared killed, reports bbc.co.uk.
The town is near the border with Chad and had housed a military base staffed partly by multinational forces. Soldiers from Niger Republic had been there but were not present when it was attacked.
Nigerian officials said that almost all of Baga had been set on fire and militants had also raided the surrounding area.
Niger Republic Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazoum told the BBC Hausa service: “We have 50 soldiers there and decided to withdraw them after Boko Haram captured Malamfatori town in October and continued to operate in the area with impunity. As you know, Baga is under the control of Boko Haram terrorists and unless the town is recaptured from them, we will not send back our troops. “But we are still determined to work with our neighbours Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria to contain the situation – it is a problem for us all.”
Civilians who fled from Baga this week reported that they had been unable to bury the dead. Corpses littered the town’s streets, said Musa Alhaji Bukar, a senior government official in the area.