Exclusive: Video shows Nigerian troops shooting captives

Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:45pm EST
 
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KADUNA, Nigeria (Reuters) - A video obtained by Reuters shows Nigerian troops shooting unarmed captives in broad daylight by the roadside in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, the bastion of an Islamist insurgency.

Nigeria's military has long been accused of human rights abuses, including summary executions, in the troubled north but there has been no video proof since the first crackdown on the Islamist sect Boko Haram in 2009.

A spokesman for the army said it was "impossible" for Nigerian troops to do such a thing.

Boko Haram is fighting to carve an Islamic state out of Nigeria, and its fighters have killed hundreds in bomb and gun attacks, many of them from the security forces, since beginning the uprising three years ago.

The video was taken by a soldier who said he was present while the shootings took place two weeks ago. The soldier, who requested anonymity, passed it to Reuters on Sunday.

In the grainy footage, a man sits down next to three or four corpses piled together on the roadside. He pleads for his life while soldiers shout at him and a crowd looks on a few meters away. "Please don't fire," the man says in pidgin English.

He tries to stand up and get onto the back of a pick up truck to the left. A Nigerian soldier shouts "come out", and drags him off it, shoving him on the ground.

One of them kicks him in the head. Then he and another soldier aim assault rifles at him. Four gunshots are heard and the man lies still next to the others.

Nigerian army spokesman Colonel Mohammed Yerima said he had not seen the video but that the events must have been staged.   Continued...