Thursday, July 30, 2009


MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Nigerian forces on Thursday put Islamist extremists to flight after a brutal all-out assault on their northern stronghold to crush a five-day uprising that left hundreds dead. After days of fighting in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, government forces claimed Thursday to have killed the deputy leader of a fundamentalist Islamic sect in a climactic gun battle that forced the leader of the insurgents to flee, news reports said. Troops raided the Islamists headquarters in the northern city of Maiduguri, killing some 200 followers of the self-styled Taliban sect along with its deputy leader. "The military is in control," defence spokesman colonel Mohammed Yerima told a news conference in the federal capital Abuja. Maiduguri has seen the worst of the unrest in northern Nigeria which started on Sunday in nearby Bauchi state. At least 600 people have been killed in the five days of clashes between security forces and militants in Borno and three other northern states, according to figures from police and witnesses. The military was unable to give details on casualties. Police spokesman in Maiduguri Isa Azare told AFP that 180 women and children "kidnapped" from parts of the country's north by the extremists had been rescued and would be reunited with their families.

Troops pounded the extremist sect's base in Maiduguri throughout the night and then gunned down followers as they tried to flee in the morning, witnesses and security sources said. An AFP reporter saw dozens of bodies strewn on the grounds leading to Bayan Quarters, the Talibans base and epicentre of Wednesday's bloodbath. Earlier Mustapha Isa, a Daily Trust newspaper journalist said he counted the bodies of 90 Taliban followers after the troops had finished pounding a building and nearby mosque where the die-hard supporters of Yusuf had holed up. A source at a Maiduguri hospital said "the corpses are countless." "Some of them are still lying in the streets and around the police headquarters," the source said.

The Taliban emerged in 2002 in Maiduguri before setting up a camp on the border with Niger, from where they launched a series of attacks on the police. The leadership has previously said it intends to lead an armed insurrection and rid the society of "immorality" and "infidelity". Police sources said nationals from Niger and possibly Chad had fought alongside the Nigerian militants during the clashes this week. The unrest is the deadliest in Nigeria since November last year when human rights groups say up to 700 were killed in the central city of Jos in direct clashes between Muslims and Christians.

This material world is called the world of death. Every living being, beginning from Brahmā, whose duration of life is some thousands of millions of years, down to the germs who live for a few seconds only, is struggling for existence. Therefore, this life is a sort of fight with material nature, which imposes death upon all. In the human form of life, a living being is competent enough to come to an understanding of this great struggle for existence, but being too attached to family members, society, country, etc., he wants to win over the invincible material nature by the aid of bodily strength, children, wife, relatives, etc. Although he is sufficiently experienced in the matter by dint of past experience and previous examples of his deceased predecessors, he does not see that the so-called fighting soldiers like the children, relatives, society members and countrymen are all fallible in the great struggle. One should examine the fact that his father or his father's father has already died, and that he himself is therefore also sure to die, and similarly, his children, who are the would be fathers of their children, will also die in due course. No one will survive in this struggle with material nature.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 6 - Chapter 7 - Verse 14"

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