Boko Haram being flushed out of hiding by deadly SNAKES and BEES because militants fear they are spirits of victims haunting them
- Arrested Boko Haram gunmen claim militants are suffering snake attacks
- They say Islamists in Sambisa Forest are being bitten then attacked by bees
- Militants are now fleeing the area worried the attacks are supernatural
- There is supposedly concern that snakes are dead victims getting revenge
Islamists fighting for Boko Haram are leaving their forest hiding places after a number of senior militants died as a result of relentless attacks by snakes and bees, it has been claimed.
Two suspected Boko Haram gunmen arrested in Maiduguri in north eastern Nigeria claimed that members of the group have now fled the Sambisa Forest, close to the border with Cameroon, following ‘incessant snake bites’ and bee stings.
Nigeria’s army have been trying to flush the militants out the area for months, but it appears they are now leaving voluntarily in the belief the attacks are the spirits of their victims haunting them.
Kolo Mustapha, one of the arrested men told Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper: ‘Most of us are fleeing because there are too many snakes and bees now in the forest. Once they bite, they disappear and the victims do not last for 24 hours.’
He claimed that the snakes attack the militants first, before dozens of bees surround the injured men and lead a second attack.
Many of the Boko Haram members are now of the belief that there is a supernatural aspect to the attacks, thinking the snakes and bees may be the spirits of their victims returning to haunt them.
Mustapha said he was only caught by a band of local volunteers because he was taking extra risks to flee the forest in a hurry, such was his belief in the mystical nature of the attacks.
He added that other senior figures in his cell fled south east towards Cameroon – forcing young men in the remote villages they pass through to join them.
The second suspected gunman, Umar Abor, confirmed his friend’s account, adding: ‘Almost all our comrades are leaving the Sambisa because of constant attacks by snakes and bees.’
Describing the attacks as ‘a plague’, Abor said the Boko Haram members fled the area blaming themselves, due to their brutal campaign of murders and kidnappings in northern Nigeria.
The claims were reinforced by local volunteers who say scores of Boko Haram militants have been seen fleeing the forest in recent weeks, but until now the reason for their departure was not known.
The bizarre development comes as the death toll from a suspected Boko Haram bomb attack in the country’s capital Abuja rose to 22.
A person who had been treated in hospital succumbed to their injuries this morning, officials said.
Nigeria’s government said soldiers shot and killed one suspected Islamist militant as he tried to escape the scene of the attack, and arrested a second.
The explosion in a shopping mall occurred just an hour before the national football team played Argentina in the World Cup.
Witnesses said the blast left body parts scattered around the Emab Plaza in an upmarket district of Abuja, as billows of black smoke could be seen from a mile away.
Today security agents arrested a ‘luxury’ bus containing 50 suspected Boko Haram militants in the town of Obollo Afor in the area directly south of Abuja.
Although there is no indication the suspects had anything to do with the Abuja bombing, they were believed to be travelling to different locations in southern Nigeria, raising fears they were planning to carry out an attack, according to Nigeria’s Investigating Reporters website.
The Abuja attack turned what should have been a national celebration into a national tragedy as Nigeria secured its place in the World Cup’s knockout stages for the first time since 1998.
The attack came a week after 14 people were killed by a suicide bomb while watching the Brazil v Mexico match in Damaturu, Nigeria.
The country’s national football coach Stephen Keshi said after the bombing: ‘How much of a victory is football going to give for those lives? What are they doing these guys? They did it the first game, and they now they did it again, it is sad.’
Although nobody has yet claimed responsibility, the attack bears hallmarks of Boko Haram extremism.
One local man, Shuaibu Baba, was in a shop making photocopies when the blast hit, killing his taxi driver who was waiting for him outside.
‘I lost a driver. And why? Because I came to photocopy for 10 naira ($0.06) a page,’ he said. ‘I begged him to take me here and this is the end.’
Officials said the explosion hit while the district was at its busiest, packed with shoppers and rush-hour commuters.
‘I heard a loud blast, it shattered the windows of the shop. We ran out. A lot of people ran too, some with bloodstains,’ said Gimbya Jafaru, who was shopping nearby.
Boko Haram attracted international condemnation for the April mass abductions of more than 200 schoolgirls, and is blamed for this week’s abductions of another 91 people — 31 boys and 60 girls and women with toddlers as young as three.
In May, twin car bombs in the central city of Jos left more than 130 people dead; and a car bomb at a bus station killed 24 people in the Christian quarter of Kano, a Muslim city.
Nigeria’s military and government claim to be winning the war in the five-year-old insurgency against the militants.
But the tempo and deadliness of attacks has increased this year, killing more than 2,000 people so far compared to an estimated 3,600 killed over the past four years.
Boko Haram wants to install an Islamic state in Nigeria, a West African nation whose 170million people are almost equally divided between Muslims who are dominant in the north and Christians in the south.