Islamic militants capture Borno in northeastern Nigeria

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez |

((FILE) REUTERS/Stringer)Governor of Borno State Kashim Shettima (centre L) visits a man injured in a bomb blast, at a hospital in Maiduguri July 1, 2014. A bomb in a van carrying charcoal exploded in a busy market in northeast Nigeria, killing at least 20 people in an attack by Islamist militants, witnesses said.

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Christian Examiner) -- For the second time in a week, Islamist militants known as Boko Haram have overrun a military base in northeastern Nigeria this time on the nation's border.

Word of the army camp's seizure in the village of Baga comes as survivors fleeing Saturday's attack reach the state capital Maiduguri, and the bordering nations of Cameroon and Chad.

BBC News and others reported heavily armed militants attacked the multinational military base as Muslims were waking for morning prayers. They brutally killed many and set the village on fire when the military stationed there abandoned their posts.

Baga, which experienced a massacre of nearly 200 people in 2013, was the last town in the area under government control leaving Boko Haram in control of all three Borno state borders.

A Nigerian security analyst who tracks the Boko Haram conflict, told international news agency AFP the move helps the militants establish a hardline Islamic state and the group is likely now to begin an expansion to the south.

Some residents reported more than 300 individuals were thought missing, either lost to the battle or in the chaos of trying to flee to safety.

"We don't know exactly how many lives are lost, but it was many. Some ran away into the bush and others drowned. The canoes were completely overloaded and turned upside down. I saw at least three boats of women and children all dead that way," A fisherman named Kumsuri Gaborou told the Guardian .

The attack makes it unlikely the nation will hold elections previously scheduled for February 14.