Sunday, 12 May 2013
Bodies Pile High in Allah's Fight For Nigeria
LAGOS - Doctors have closed the main hospital in Nigeria's north-eastern city of Maiduguri in protest at alleged police assaults on staff and patients. They say officers became angry because the hospital mortuary was too full to take the bodies of colleagues killed by suspected Islamist militants. One doctor told the BBC they would not reopen the hospital to new patients until the government provided them with security to do their work in safety. The police have not yet commented. Maiduguri is the capital of Borno state, where the Islamist group Boko Haram is based and where it has waged a violent insurgency to create an Islamic state since 2010. Fifty-five people died on Tuesday in a pre-dawn raid by suspected Boko Haram fighters to free prisoners in Bama, a town some 70km (44 miles) from Maiduguri. A police station, military barracks and other government buildings were burned to the ground in the assault. On Thursday, some of the slain bodies were taken to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, but medical staff say angry scenes broke out when the police were told the mortuary was unable to accommodate all of the corpses. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) said the siege at the hospital lasted for about five hours. One doctor's leg was broken and another doctor was slapped, the president of the resident doctors, Dr Yahaya Muhammed, told the BBC's Hausa service. He said the hospital gates were now closed and no new patients were being admitted until the authorities provided for their security. Some of the hospital's 300 doctors would attend to those patients already admitted, he said.