Posts Tagged ‘Maiduguri’

Four suicide bombers strike in northeast Nigeria — Islamist extremists group Boko Haram suspected

November 16, 2017

AFP

© Stringer / AFP (file photo) | Onlookers stand as ambulance carries dead bodies recovered from the scene of three suicide bomb blasts in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on October 23, 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-11-16

Twelve people were killed Wednesday evening after four suicide bombers struck in the regional capital of Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria, rescue workers told AFP.

Two men and two women blew themselves up in the Muna neighbourhood at around 1700 GMT, the chief security officer of Borno State’s emergency response agency, Bello Dambatta, said.

“The total people who died in these four suicide bombings is 12, 16 including the bombers,” he told AFP. “Twenty-two people were taken to the Borno State Specialist Hospital for treatment to various injuries.”

The first suicide bomber blew himself up among people conducting an evening prayer, killing seven, Dambatta said.

A suicide bomber then entered a house before setting off explosives, killing a pregnant woman and her child.

The other two suicide bombers blew themselves up before reaching their targets, he added.

The Islamist extremists of Boko Haram have carried out a eight-year campaign of violence in Nigeria’s northeast.

The jihadist group does not always claim responsibility for attacks, but the method used in Wednesday’s attack — multiple suicide bombings — is a common tactic.

After growing in strength, the group, led by Abubakar Shekau, took control of a large area of northeastern Nigeria in 2014 and declared a caliphate.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.6 million people made homeless in northeast Nigeria since the group launched its insurgency.

In recent years the group has suffered a series of defeats and the Nigerian authorities have repeatedly stated it was about to be defeated, but attacks on villages and military convoys as well as suicide attacks against civilians continue.

On Friday, at least three Nigerian soldiers and a militiaman were killed and ten other soldiers wounded in an ambush by Boko Haram on the edge of Sambisa Forest, one of its strongholds in the northeast.

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U.N. Relations With Nigeria ‘Intact’ After Dispute Over Army Raid

August 12, 2017

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — The United Nations’ relationship with Nigeria is intact, a U.N. official said on Saturday, despite a military raid on a compound belonging to the international body in the conflict-ridden northeast.

“I am very pleased to report that our relationship of collaboration and trust is intact,” Peter Lundberg, the U.N. deputy humanitarian coordinator for Nigeria, said at a briefing in the northeastern city of Maiduguri.

Friday’s raid had threatened to undermine an already-rocky relationship between Nigeria’s military and the United Nations and other aid organizations.

The army said it was a search for members of Islamist insurgency Boko Haram in Maiduguri, the epicenter of the fight against the militants, in an area of the city that included the U.N. compound.

The army and United Nations still disagree over whether the compound was registered and designated as belonging to the U.N.

A worsening of relations between the U.N. and Nigeria could risk destabilizing efforts to deliver aid to almost seven million people affected by the eight-year conflict with Boko Haram, one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world.

The United Nations on Friday had halted various operations around the northeast, but following reassurances from Nigeria those resumed on Saturday, said Lundberg.

“We are here in support of the government of Nigeria, the United Nations agencies and over 60 non-government organizations,” said Lundberg.

In a separate statement, Ibrahim Attahiru, a commander of Nigeria’s operations against Boko Haram, said the army was not trying to block the United Nations’ activities.

“We will continue to collaborate with the United Nations humanitarian agencies to achieve the goals of the counter-insurgency campaign and other developments to address the humanitarian crisis in the northeast region,” he said.

(Reporting by Ahmed Kingimi in Maiduguri; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Andrew Bolton)

Nigeria: Kidnapped oil workers speak on Boko Haram video

July 29, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Nigerian soldiers prepare to head off in search of Boko Haram militants outside Maiduguri, in northeast Nigeria, in March 2016

LAGOS (AFP) – Boko Haram Islamists have published a video showing three kidnapped members of an oil exploration team, after an ambush in northeast Nigeria earlier this week that killed at least 50.In the four-minute video, the trio identify themselves as being from the University of Maiduguri and call on the government to meet the jihadists’ demands in exchange for their safe return.

The men were part of a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) team on a mission to find commercial quantities of oil in the Lake Chad basin when they came under attack on Tuesday.

“I want to call on the acting president professor Yemi Osinbajo to come to our rescue to meet the demand,” one of the men said on the video, which he said was shot on Friday.

He attributed the attack to the Islamic State-supported Boko Haram faction headed by Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi, which has promised to hit military and government targets.

“They have promised us that if their demands are met they will release us immediately to go back to the work we were caught doing,” the man added.

There was no indication of where the video was shot but the convoy came under attack near Magumeri, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) by road northwest of Maiduguri.

Most of the victims were soldiers and civilian militia members providing security.

University of Maiduguri spokesman Danjuma Gambo confirmed the three kidnapped men were from the institution, whose campus in the city has been repeatedly targeted by Boko Haram suicide bombers in recent months.

“They are our staff but one more is yet to be accounted for,” he told AFP.

Experts said the attack — Boko Haram’s bloodiest this year — underscored the persistent threat posed by the jihadists, despite government claims the group is a spent force.

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Goodluck Jonathan

 (Has links to several previous articles)

Remember this from April 2014? From left: Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne and Malala Yousafzai call for the release of the girls during the “hashtag campaign”

A member of

A member of “Bring Back Our Girls” movement carries placard to press for the release of the missing Chibok schoolgirls in Lagos, on April 14, 2016 ©PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (AFP/File)

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja

Parents of abducted Chibok girls cry as police denied them access to see President Muhammadu Buhari during a rally in Abuja, Nigeria August 25, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

At Least 8 Dead After Suicide Bombers Hit Camps in Nigeria — Believed to Be Boko Haram — Nigeria’s government declared the group “crushed” last year

July 24, 2017

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — At least eight people are dead after female suicide bombers attacked two displaced persons camps in northeastern Nigeria’s main city, a civilian self-defense group said Monday. It was the first major attack on a displaced persons camp in Maiduguri, the birthplace of the Boko Haram extremist insurgency.

The attack started late Sunday night and left another 15 people wounded, spokesman Bello Danbatta with the Civilian-JTF group told The Associated Press.

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Chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai

The Nigeria-based extremist group Boko Haram often targets the city with suicide bombers and increasingly has been using female ones. Nigeria’s government late last year declared the group “crushed” but dozens of such attacks have been carried out this year.

The latest bombings occurred a few days after Nigeria’s army chief of staff issued a 40-day deadline for troops to flush out Boko Haram’s leader and finish off the extremist group.

 Image result for Dalori camp, nigeria, photos
Dalori camp

Danbatta said one bomber sneaked into the Dalori camp and detonated, and two other attackers exploded on or near the camp’s perimeter fence. Another bomber detonated early Monday morning.

Thousands of people continue to shelter in camps after being forced from their homes by Boko Haram. The extremist group’s eight-year insurgency has killed more than 20,000 people, kidnapped thousands of others, spilled into neighboring countries and created one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.

Nigeria is moving closer to famine, with more than 5 million people expected to face “crisis, emergency and famine conditions” by the end of August as the lean season continues, the Norwegian Refugee Council said in a statement Monday. The unrest has disrupted farming and access to markets in the region.

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Dalori camp

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Four female suicide bombers kill 15 in Maiduguri, Nigeria — Boko Haram, Islamic State group affiliate

July 12, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Boko Haram has intensified suicide attacks in and around Maiduguri in recent months after losing territory to the Nigerian military

MAIDUGURI (NIGERIA) (AFP) – At least 15 people were killed when four female suicide bombers detonated their explosives in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, police said on Wednesday, in the latest violence to hit the strategic city.

Borno state police commissioner Damian Chukwu told reporters the four struck in the suburb of Molai Kalemari on Tuesday night and that most of the victims were civilian militia manning security posts.

“The bombers detonated IEDs (improvised explosive devices) strapped to their bodies at different locations of the area, killing 19 people, including the bombers,” he said.

“A total of 23 people were injured.”

Bello Danbatta, a spokesman for the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) militia and chief security officer at the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said it appeared his men were the targets.

Two of the bombers blew themselves up at checkpoints manned by militia members, who assist the military with security and sometimes accompany soldiers on operations against Boko Haram jihadists.

“In all we lost 12 of our gallant JTF,” he said.

He added: “Civilian JTF have sacrificed their lives to protect their people and the life and property of the citizens of Borno state.

“We sacrificed our life, inshallah (God willing), we continue to fight this insurgency.”

SEMA operatives in face-masks and white overalls were on Wednesday seen removing body parts from the scene of the attacks. Victims were covered with rugs awaiting burial, as local people looked on.

Suicide bombings have become a feature of Boko Haram’s eight-year insurgency in northeast Nigeria, which has killed at least 20,000 people and made more than 2.6 million others homeless.

Young women and girls have frequently been used to attack security checkpoints, as well as civilian “soft targets” such as mosques, markets and bus stations.

Nine people were killed in a string of suicide bomb attacks in the city last month around the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The University of Maiduguri, which lies on the edge of the city, has become a frequent target since the start of the year, as it teaches the “western” education despised by the Islamic State group affiliate.

Nigeria’s military and government maintain the group is a spent force and on the verge of defeat as a result of sustained counter-insurgency operations since early 2015.

But sporadic fighting still occurs, while mines and blasts remain a constant threat.

Boko Haram this week released a video showing executions and amputations for alleged infringements of its strict interpretation of Islam, suggesting it still holds territory in some areas.

16 killed in double suicide attack in NE Nigeria

June 19, 2017

AFP

© AFP | A white sheet covers the bodies of some of the victims of the double suicide bombing in Dalori Kofa village in northeast Nigeria

MAIDUGURI (NIGERIA) (AFP) – At least 16 people died in a double suicide bombing near a large camp for people made homeless by years of Boko Haram violence, Nigeria’s emergency services and locals said Monday.It was the biggest in a series of weekend attacks.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the attack took place at about 8:45 pm (1945 GMT) on Sunday close to the Dalori camp in Kofa village, near the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

Regional NEMA spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said a first attack by two female suicide bombers had been thwarted by security personnel who stopped them getting into the camp.

“Two other female suicide bombers also detonated their explosives at the adjoining Dalori Kofa village, where they killed 16 people,” he said in a statement.

Earlier tolls given by local people said at least 12 or 13 people had been killed but Abdulkadir said three of the injured had since died of their wounds.

“The 16 does not include the bombers,” he told AFP.

Dalori is about 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Maiduguri and is one of the largest camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in the remote region.

There are nearly 50,000 people in the two Dalori camps, with Dalori 1 housing some 35,000 and Dalori 2, which was targeted in the bombings, sheltering around 10,000.

Boko Haram has previously tried to target the camp: at least 85 people were killed in January last year when insurgents rampaged through communities near Dalori.

– A bloody weekend –

The latest attack is the most deadly in Nigeria since June 8, when 11 people were killed in a rare combined gun and suicide attack in the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri.

Also at the weekend, Boko Haram attacked Gumsuri village, 20 kilometres from Chibok, killing five people late on Saturday, locals said.

But they were fought off by local vigilantes who engaged them in a gunbattle.

“The vigilantes got the upper hand. They killed 12 attackers and apprehended six others,” said Bitrus Haruna, a vigilante from Chibok, whose account was corroborated by a community leader from the town.

“The Boko Haram gunmen were not lucky. They were confronted by the gallant vigilantes who killed 12 of the attackers and arrested six of them.”

Then on Sunday, Boko Haram jihadists killed three soldiers in an ambush near Wajirko village, 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Maiduguri, a local vigilante said.

Last weekend, gunmen killed eight members of a civilian militia force assisting the military in the Konduga area not far from the Dalori camp.

The spate of bombings underlines the threat still posed by the jihadists, despite official claims they are a spent force.

Since the start of Boko Harm’s uprising in 2009, at least 20,000 people have been killed since and more than 2.6 million made homeless, many of whom are facing severe food shortages or starvation.

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12 Killed in Suicide Bombings in Northeast Nigeria

June 19, 2017

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Authorities in northeastern Nigeria say 12 people are dead after suicide bombing attacks not far from the city of Maiduguri.

Police spokesman Victor Isuku said Monday that the attacks were carried about by five female bombers in Kofa, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Maiduguri.

The first attack killed several people near a mosque, while five others were killed in a house.

Last late year Nigeria declared that the Boko Haram extremist group had been crushed but attacks continue, often with young women strapped with explosives to carry out suicide attacks.

Many of the young women are believed to be among those abducted by the jihadists, who have pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State.

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19 June 2017 – 13:19BY AFP
Camp Dalori is about 10 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri.

Camp Dalori is about 10 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri.
Image: AMINU ABUBAKAR / AFP

At least 16 people were killed in suicide bomb attacks near a camp for those made homeless by Boko Haram violence in northeast Nigeria, emergency services said on Monday.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the attacks took place at about 8:45 pm on Sunday close to the Dalori camp at Kofa village, near the Borno state capital Maiduguri.

NEMA northeast region spokesman Abdulkadir Ibrahim said two female suicide bombers tried to get into the camp but were thwarted by security personnel.

“Two other female suicide bombers also detonated their explosives at the adjoining Dalori Kofa village, where they killed 16 people,” he added in a statement.

Earlier tolls given by local people said at least 12 or 13 people had been killed but Abdulkadir said three of those injured and taken to hospital had since died.

“The 16 does not include the bombers,” he told AFP.

Dalori is about 10 kilometres (six miles) southeast of Maiduguri and is one of the largest camps for internally displaced people (IDP) in the remote region.

Boko Haram has previously tried to target the camp: at least 85 people were killed in January last year when insurgents rampaged through communities near Dalori.

Residents were shot and their homes burned down while female suicide bombers blew themselves up among the crowds of people fleeing the violence.

The latest attack is the most deadly in Nigeria since June 8, when 11 people were killed in a rare combined gun and suicide attack in the Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri.

Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted the strategic city, particularly its outlying communities, IDP camps and the city’s university.

The bombings and sporadic hit-and-run attacks underline the threat still posed by the jihadists, despite claims from the authorities they are a spent force.

Gunmen killed eight members of a civilian militia force assisting the military on June 11 in the Konduga area, which is on the same road as the Dalori camp.

At least 20,000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2009 and more than 2.6 million made homeless, many of whom are facing severe food shortages or starvation.

Boko Haram attack on Nigerian city of Maiduguri kills 14 people, say police — Six month after government said the terrorists were “defeated”

June 8, 2017

Reuters

An attack by Boko Haram jihadists on the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri killed 14 people and wounded 24 others, police said on Thursday, the first official toll.

Maiduguri is the epicenter of the eight-year fight against Boko Haram which has been trying to set up an Islamic State in the northeast, and has been largely free of violence for the past two years.

The fighters attacked the city’s suburbs on Wednesday night with anti-aircraft guns and several suicide bombers, said Damian Chukwu, police commissioner of Borno State, of which Maiduguri is the capital.

“A total of 13 people were killed in the multiple explosions with 24 persons injured while one person died in the attack (shooting),” he told reporters.

Several buildings were set on fire but the military repulsed the fighters after an hour, he said.

Aid workers and Reuters witnesses reported explosions and heavy gunfire for at least 45 minutes in the southeastern and southwestern outskirts of the city. Thousands of civilians fled the fighting, according to Reuters witnesses.

The raid comes six months after President Muhammadu Buhari said Boko Haram had “technically” been defeated by a military campaign that had pushed many jihadists deep into the remote Sambisa forest, near the border with Cameroon.

A young girl was wounded by a stray bullet after Boko Haram militants invaded Maiduguri

More than 20,000 people have been killed in Boko Haram’s campaign to establish a caliphate in the Lake Chad.

basin. A further 2.7 million have been displaced, creating one of the world’s largest humanitarian emergencies.

Despite the military’s success in liberating cities and towns, much of Borno remains off-limits, hampering efforts to deliver food aid to nearly 1.5 million people believed to be on the brink of famine.

(Reporting by Ola Lanre; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Photos:

http://saharareporters.com/2017/06/07/gunfire-erupts-maiduguri-boko-haram-militants-raid-city

Suspected Boko Haram jihadists kill vigilantes in Nigeria — Four found with throats slit

May 21, 2017

AFP

© BOKO HARAM/AFP/File | Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram’s shadowy leader Abubakar Shekau

KANO (NIGERIA) (AFP) – Suspected Boko Haram jihadists killed six people fighting alongside the military in two separate incidents in northeast Nigeria, vigilantes told AFP Sunday.Four of the slain vigilantes were hunting in the bush near a camp for internally displaced people on the outskirts of the city of Maiduguri when they were seized in a daytime attack.

Vigilante Musa Ari said the attackers were riding motorcyles when they seized six people. Four were later found with their “throats slit”.

“Four of our colleagues were killed yesterday (Saturday) by Boko Haram gunmen while they were hunting. Two others are missing and we believe they were taken away by the terrorists,” added vigilante Babakura Kolo, speaking from Maiduguri.

In a separate suspected Boko Haram attack on Saturday night, two other vigilantes died after two female suicide bombers detonated explosives in the town of Konduga.

“One of the bombers detonated her explosives close to a group of vigilantes… after they were asked to identify themselves,” said vigilante Ibrahim Liman.

“A dusk to dawn curfew has been placed on women in the town following a spate of suicide bombings,” he said.

The attacks underline the vulnerability of rural communities in northeast Nigeria at a time when authorities are encouraging people displaced by the Boko Haram conflict to return to their homes and try to rebuild their lives.

On Monday Boko Haram gunmen on motorcycles killed six farmers who were working on their land in Amarwa village near Maiduguri in preparation for the rainy season.

The Islamists have in recent weeks intensified suicide bombings in and around Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and birthplace of Boko Haram, with the university campus repeatedly attacked in recent days.

The eight-year Boko Haram conflict has killed 20,000 people and displaced millions from their homes, triggering a food crisis in the ravaged region.

Although Boko Haram has been substantially weakened by the Nigerian military, the group is still capable of launching deadly raids and suicide bombings, putting many people still at risk.

Boko Haram slaughters eight, abducts women in Maiduguri — U.S. To Sell Attack Aircraft to Nigeria to Fight Boko Haram Despite Human Right Complaints

April 10, 2017

Boko Haram jihadists have killed eight loggers near the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri, vigilantes and residents told AFP on Sunday.

Women and children flee from home burnt by Boko Haram Islamists at Zabarmari, a fishing and farming village near Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on July 3, 2015.

Several female suicide bombers in northeast Nigeria blew themselves up amid panicked villagers fleeing a Boko Haram attack, killing scores, the army and witnesses said on July 4.

The latest carnage in series of attacks that have claimed more than 200 lives in just three days happened on Friday night in Zabarmari village, 10 kilometres (six miles) from the city of Maiduguri, the birthplace of the jihadist group.

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Women and children flee from home burnt by Boko Haram Islamists at Zabarmari, a fishing and farming village near Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on July 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER AFP

The Islamist gunmen on Saturday stopped nine loggers in a pickup truck near Kayamla village, 10 kilometres from the city, murdering eight while one managed to escape. “The gunmen stopped the van and rounded up the men.

They slaughtered eight of them and burnt their bodies,” vigilante Babakura Kolo told AFP. The man who managed to escape informed residents of nearby Molai village who later recovered the bodies of the slain men for burial, he added.

Kolo’s account was backed up by Mohammed Abubakar, whose neighbour was among the victims. “We buried my neighbour late on Saturday. He was among the eight killed by Boko Haram on their way to fetch firewood in the bush,” Abubakar told AFP.

“They cut his throat and burnt his body”, he said Boko Haram’s eight-year insurrection in northeast Nigeria, especially in Borno state, has left over 20,000 people dead and displaced 2.6 million.

Most of those displaced rely on food handouts from aid agencies while others have turned to felling trees from the scanty vegetation in the savanna region for firewood, which they sell to buy food. Abubakar said the loggers had been warned by locals of the presence of the jihadists in the area.

“They ignored the warning because they were desperately looking for ways to feed their family and collecting firewood was the only option they had”.

On Friday Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped 13 women near the village of Hambagda near the border with Cameroon, residents told AFP. Those abducted were among a group of 25 women who had gone to pick acacia fruit.

“They came across two women, who were also out to collect the fruits but who turned out to be Boko Haram wives,” a local leader in the area told AFP. “The two women left and informed their men who came and surrounded the women,” he added.

Late last month Boko Haram fighters loyal to the Islamic State-backed Abu Mus’ab Al-Barnawi faction abducted 18 girls from nearby Pulka village, according to residents. On Friday, according to an army officer in Maiduguri, Boko Haram fighters killed five soldiers after ambushing them while on patrol in Mafa, Borno.

It was the second such ambush in two days.

On Thursday four soldiers were killed and five others injured in a Boko Haram ambush near Gulumba village.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/04/boko-haram-slaughters-eight-abducts-women-maiduguri-sources/

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The Associated Press

Firefighters try to contain a blaze following a suicide attack on oil tankers in Maiduguri, Nigeria, on March 3. (Jossy Ola / Associated Press)
 Firefighters try to contain a blaze following a suicide attack on oil tankers in Maiduguri, Nigeria, on March 3. (Jossy Ola / Associated Press)

The Trump administration will move forward with the sale of high-tech aircraft to Nigeria for its campaign against Boko Haram Islamic extremists despite concerns over abuses committed by the African nation’s security forces, according to U.S. officials.

Congress is expected to receive formal notification within weeks, setting in motion a deal with Nigeria that the Obama administration had planned to approve at the very end of Barack Obama’s presidency. The arrangement will call for Nigeria to purchase up to 12 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft with sophisticated targeting gear for nearly $600 million, one of the officials said.

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The officials were not authorized to discuss the terms of the sale publicly and requested anonymity to speak about internal diplomatic conversations.

Though President Trump has made clear his intention to approve the sale of the aircraft, the National Security Council is still working on the issue. Military sales to several other countries are also expected to be approved but are caught up in an ongoing White House review. Nigeria has been trying to buy the aircraft since 2015.

The Nigerian air force has been accused of bombing civilian targets at least three times in recent years. In the worst incident, a fighter jet on Jan. 17 repeatedly bombed a camp at Rann, near the border with Cameroon, where civilians had fled from Boko Haram. Between 100 and 236 civilians and aid workers were killed, according to official and community leaders’ counts.

That bombing occurred on the same day the Obama administration intended to officially notify Congress the sale would go forward. Instead, it was abruptly put on hold, according to an individual who worked on the issue during Obama’s presidency. Days later, Trump was inaugurated.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said last week that he supported the A-29 deal to Nigeria as well as the sale of U.S.-made fighter jets to Bahrain that had been stripped of human rights caveats imposed by the Obama administration.

Under Obama, the U.S. said Bahrain failed to make promised political and human rights reforms after its Sunni-ruled government crushed Arab Spring protests five years ago.

“We need to deal with human rights issues, but not on weapons sales,” Corker said.

The State Department said in a 2016 report that the Nigerian government has taken “few steps to investigate or prosecute officials who committed violations, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government, and impunity remained widespread at all levels of government.”

Amnesty International has accused Nigeria’s military of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the extrajudicial killings of an estimated 8,000 Boko Haram suspects. President Muhammadu Buhari promised to investigate the alleged abuses after he won office in March 2015, but no soldier has been prosecuted and thousands of people remain in illegal military detention. Nigeria’s military has denied the allegations.

The A-29 sale would improve the U.S. relationship with Nigeria, Africa’s largest consumer market (with of 170 million people), the continent’s biggest economy and its second-largest oil producer. Nigeria also is strategically located on the edge of the Sahel, the largely lawless semi-desert region bridging north and sub-Saharan Africa, where experts warn Islamic extremists such as the Nigeria-based Boko Haram may expand their reach.

The aircraft deal also would satisfy Trump’s priorities to support nations fighting Islamic uprisings, boost U.S. manufacturing and create high-wage jobs at home. The A-29 aircraft, which allow pilots to pinpoint targets at night, are assembled in Jacksonville, Fla.

“It’s hard to argue that any country in Africa is more important than Nigeria for the geopolitical and other strategic interests of the U.S.,” said J. Peter Pham, vice president of the Atlantic Council in Washington and head of its Africa Center.

Once Congress is officially notified of the sale, lawmakers who want to derail it have 30 days to pass veto-proof legislation. That’s a high hurdle given Corker’s support. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, also said he backs the sale.

“We’ve really got to try to do what we can to contain them,” McCain said of Boko Haram.

In Trump’s first phone call with Buhari in February, he “assured the Nigerian president of U.S. readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism,” according to Buhari’s office.

A Feb. 15 White House statement that provided a summary of the call said “President Trump expressed support for the sale of aircraft from the United States to support Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram.”

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in mid-February that he was “leery” of the sale because of the Nigerian military’s impunity. Cardin said this week he’s not trying to block the deal.

“Ultimately we hope that the sale goes forward,” he said. “But there is progress that needs to be made in protecting the civilian population.”