n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Nigeria's evolving Islamist extremist security threat - : West Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 04
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The conflict between Nigerian Government forces and the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist group in northern Nigeria has intensified in recent months. Specialised counter-terror Joint Task Force (JTF) recorded significant victories in raids against training camps and safe-houses, and engaged in sweep operations across the country's Borno state. Boko Haram itself has engaged in new or unusual behaviour recently, having intentionally targeted medical workers in deadly attacks on 8 February 2013 in Kano. There has also been at least one kidnapping, a French family taken from Cameroon on 19 February, the first deliberate targeting of foreigners since the bombing of the United Nations (UN) buildings in Abuja in 2011. Boko Haram has also attempted more direct attacks against Nigerian security forces, albeit with mixed results. This included the use of an improvised explosive device to target a JTF patrol in Maiduguri a city in northern Mali on 21 February 2013, and a failed assault on a barracks in Monguno on 3 March.

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