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Boko Haram changing names of captured towns in northeast Nigeria

November 10, 2014, 15:28 UTC+3
Militants impose their own order by strongarm measures on the territory they control and carry out mass executions
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Boko Haram armoured vehicle

Boko Haram armoured vehicle

© EPA/Tony Nwosu

RABAT, November 10. /TASS/. Boko Haram, an extremist group that has been pursuing a violent military action against the Nigerian government in recent years, goes on establishing its orders on the captured territories.

According to the refugees, who managed to leave the occupied communities, militants change names of towns they seize.

The town of Mubi in Adamawa state seized by the Islamists in October and is now called Madinatul Islam, or "City of Islam" in Arabic. As witnesses said all churches in Mubi were burnt down and the armed troops of radicals patrol the streets of the town.

Gwoza in neighboring Borno state was also renamed and is now being called Darul Hikmah or "House of Wisdom”.

Both towns were included in the so-called Islamic Caliphate, establishment of which was announced by Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, back on August, 24. In recent months the group has stirred up its offensive action.

According to the security forces, over the past six months, Boko Haram has managed to occupy about twenty towns and villages in northeastern Nigeria.

Militants establish their own rules on the occupied territories and carry out mass executions. Over the last 5 years they killed about 10 thousand people in Nigeria. About 700 thousand people were forced to leave their homes. The increased activity of extremists has become a problem not only for the local authorities but also for some neighboring countries, notably for Cameroon and Chad, where Boko Haram has created logistical bases, underground camps and warehouses for weapons.

Meanwhile, the extremists are trying to convince the community that they are popular among the population of the occupied territories. The video on the web shows members of Boko Haram driving an armored vehicle with a rejoicing crowd along the road.

Experts say that this kind of propaganda videos became a "trademark" of religious extremists who want to give their image some appeal and win new supporters, particularly among the most marginalized sections of the population. Recently, Boko Haram has openly declared its support for the Islamic State terrorist group operating in Syria and Iraq.

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