By Lanre Ola MAIDUGURI (Reuters) - A raid on an army base in northeast Nigeria and massacres of civilians in nearby villages at the weekend have left Boko Haram free to move unopposed in a strategic garrison town, witnesses and security sources said. A Red Cross official who fled the town of Damboa said 50 people were killed in the attacks on the town and six surrounding villages. The insurgents have yet to establish any permanent presence in Damboa and nearby villages, but a power vacuum existing since Nigerian troops stationed there were pushed out two weeks ago enables them to move as they please. Moving into the area could represent Boko Haram's biggest strategic success since a military offensive dislodged it from several cities and towns in Borno state last year.
By Misha Hussain DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Gambia has taken steps to improve its poor human-rights record after the European Union suspended 150 million euros in development aid this year, activists said on Tuesday, urging tougher action by the international community. Gambia received 75 million euros of aid over the past six years from the European Development Fund, but in the spring northern European member states blocked disbursement of further aid, citing grave human rights violations.