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As the army steps up its crackdown, the Islamist militia’s leaders are strengthening their ties with northern Mali

The bombing of a church in Kaduna State on 25 November and attacks on a police station in Abuja on the following day seemed designed, at least in part, to show that the Boko Haram militia can keep up the pressure despite the army’s scorched earth policy against it. Senior Nigerian security officials insist that scores of top Boko Haram commanders have fled to Mali and Somalia since mid-September after crackdowns in northern Nigeria. Such claims of success have to be balanced against the government’s continuing lack of political strategy in dealing with the militia and it winning back some credibility in the north-east. Government soldiers and police, in many cases, are feared as much as Boko Haram.

(This article contains approximately 1836 words)

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Mali, Somalia, Niger, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Mullah Mohammed Omar, Chad, Algeria, Mamman Nur, Nigeria's regional strategy, Goodluck Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki, German, Guido Westerwelle, Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, Abubakar Adam Kambar, Abu Yasir, Abubakar Yola, Abu Jihad, Abubakar Shekau, Abu Mohammed, Khalid Barnawi, Abu Hafsat, United States, Abu Qaqa, Isa Abuja, Awwal Gombe, Ibn Saleh Ibrahim, Muhammadu, Mamman, Shuwa, British, Italian, Cameroon, Commercial imperatives, Chinese, Boko Haram, Al Qaida, Al Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahideen, Africa Confidential, Shura