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Nigeria Mulls Postponing Election As Boko Haram Mayhem Continues

© AP Photo / Jossy Ola, FileIn this file photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, Nigerian Soldiers, left, pass by on the back of a armed truck as they patrol at a local market after recent violence in surrounding areas at Maiduguri, Nigeria
In this file photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, Nigerian Soldiers, left, pass by on the back of a armed truck as they patrol at a local market after recent violence in surrounding areas at Maiduguri, Nigeria - Sputnik International
The election could be postponed until March 28 as violence grips the nation, which is in turmoil amid Boko Haram attacks and a heated pre-election season.

A man rushes towards a vehicle next to a burning car at the scene of a bomb explosion in Gombe - Sputnik International
Jonathan Rally Hit by Suicide Bomber, Nigeria on Brink of Election Chaos
Nigeria's electoral commission has decided to consider postponing the February 14 general election for six weeks, on Saturday as it meets with politicians and civil society groups, the commission announced on its Twitter account.

The decision is being made amid a struggle against Boko Haram militants, which controls a Belgium-sized chunk of territory in the country's north, disenfranchising millions who live in the territory or have been displaced by the violence.

Nigeria's 2015 general election has been marked by tension, as a governor of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) called on his supporters to crush the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) "cockroaches," and the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warning to politicians, according to Reuters.

"Any person who incites or engages in acts of violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging … crimes within ICC’s jurisdiction is liable to prosecution," an ICC official told the agency on Monday.

The opposition APC's contender is Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from northern Nigeria, while the ruling PDP's incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is a Christian from the south.

Chadian Offensive Stifles as Boko Haram Opens New Front

Nigerian soldiers - Sputnik International
Niger Forces Kill 109 Members of Boko Haram
Meanwhile, Niger has joined the struggle against the group, while Chad and Cameroon's offensive faced hurdles as Boko Haram forces counter-attacked.

On Friday, neighboring Niger's armed forces claimed that 109 Boko Haram fighters were killed after the group attacked the country's border towns. The attack followed Niger's decision on Thursday to commit troops to the struggle against the group.

However, Chad and Cameroon's campaign against the group has been stalled amid counter-attacks which have killed dozens of people, while the multinational offensive failed to gain progress.

Since January 31, Chad has been launching airstrikes against the group's positions in the town of Gamboru, on Nigeria's border with Cameroon.

On February 1, Boko Haram struck the city of Maiduguri, capital of Nigeria's Borno state, as suicide bombings rocked cities in bordering states. The same day, the Chadian and Cameroonian joint forces struck Boko Haram targets in Gamboru and secured cross-border bridges while bringing in more troops.

Maiduguri residents gather on September 16, 2014 around an armored personnel carrier (APC) recovered by the army from Boko Haram insurgents in Konduga - Sputnik International
UNSC Condemns Boko Haram Attacks, Praises Chad’s Resistance
On Tuesday, Boko Haram struck back against Chad and Cameroon's attacks against the group,attacking the town of Fokotol, across the border from Gamboru. The attack killed over 100 residents of the town, as Boko Haram destroyed homes and a mosque.

On Wednesday Boko Haram launched another attack, killing 82 civilians, six Cameroonian and 13 Chadian soldiers, according to DPA.

On Thursday, the group launched yet another attack against Fokotol, killing 31 civilians an burning three mosques, according to the agency.

Boko Haram is a militant group, which aims at establishing an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. Large swathes of land in the Borno State, as well as in neighboring Adamawa and Yobe are believed to be under control of the Islamists. The Boko Haram insurgency has left over 13,000 people dead since 2009.

In October 2014, the leaders of Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon announced plans to step up the fight against Boko Haram with an additional battalion and a command center to tackle the group, and Chad began its operation in mid-January. Chad is considered impacted by this conflict not only because it is harmed by Boko Haram, but also because it faces a dire humanitarian situation as refugees flee to the country as Boko Haram's influence spreads in Nigeria.

On January 4, Boko Haram militants captured the town of Baga in Borno State, reportedly killing hundreds. "The human carnage perpetrated by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga was enormous," Muhammad Abba Gava, a spokesman for a local defense group that fights militants, told the Associated Press. Reports emerged that approximately 2,000 people, mostly women, children and the elderly, were killed, according to Amnesty International.

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