The Hydra of Islam
- Noun Hy-dra - 1) a many-headed serpent or monster in Greek mythology that was slain by Hercules and each head of which when cut off was replaced by two others. 2) a multifarious evil not to be overcome by a single effort.
(Reuters) - Niger's army is fighting to recapture an island in Lake Chad after it was seized by hundreds of Boko Haram militants aboard motorised canoes, army sources said on Sunday.
Boko Haram, hardline Islamists who want to establish a caliphate in the region, attacked the island of Karamga at dawn on Saturday, their second attempt to capture it since February, army and government sources said.
Lake Chad's islands, which lie in dense swampland, are an ideal base for mounting surprise attacks on the countries bordering the lake: Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.Boko Haram, hardline Islamists who want to establish a caliphate in the region, attacked the island of Karamga at dawn on Saturday, their second attempt to capture it since February, army and government sources said.
"There were many (Niger soldiers) dead on Saturday, considerably more than in the first attack," said one of the army sources, referring to a battle in February in which seven Niger soldiers died.
A second army source said a counter-attack to clear the island of militants was ongoing.
Since February, Nigerian forces backed by neighbours Chad, Niger and Cameroon have won back vast swathes of territory from Boko Haram, which previously controlled an area the size of Belgium.
On Friday suspected Boko Haram militants crossed over from Cameroon and forced Nigerian troops out of the border town of Marte, one soldier told Reuters, indicating the group still has a reach beyond Sambisa.
The island of Karamga is hundreds of kilometres away, suggesting that there is at least one Boko Haram cell further north.
Niger suffered a wave of attacks and suicide bombs in its southern border region of Diffa in February and March, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency there.Read More . . . .