6th September, 2012
Nigeria’s Islamist group Boko Haram on Thursday claimed a set of fires yesterday at telecom masts across the north, while threatenning the staff of the Voice of America (VoA) radio network.
“We decided to launch attacks on masts of mobile telecom operators as a result of the assistance they offer security agents,” said an email from the group’s spokesman, also vowing “to not spare” any reporter from VoA, which last month reported that Boko Haram had entered talks with government.
Roughly two dozen blazes were set at mobile phone towers in cities such as Kano on Tuesday and Wednesday, marking a new type of attack from a group that has become notorious for deadly gun and bomb assaults.
“We decided to launch attacks on masts of mobile telecom operators as a result of the assistance they offer security agents,” said an email from the group’s spokesman, Abul Qaqa.
This information helps Nigerian security forces “in arresting our brethren,” the statement added.
The Islamist group — blamed for more than 1,400 deaths in northern and central Nigeria since 2010 — also issued a warning to the staff of US government-funded broadcaster Voice of America.
Last month, the network quoted a supposed Boko Haram source claiming the group had entered negotiations with the government.
“As a result of the harm we understand Voice of America is inflicting on Islam, we hereby inform all reporters and staff of this radio station that whoever wants to live in peace among them should quit working with this media organisation,” the statement said.