Nigeria suffers dramatic upsurge in Violence

Lagos - Nigeria has suffered a dramatic upsurge in violence claimed by, or blamed on, the armed Islamist group Boko Haram, including a series of bloody attacks and the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls.

The insurgency has left more than 10 000 dead and displaced more than 650 000 over the past five years.

- 14 April 2014: 276 young girls are seized from their school by Boko Haram gunmen in the remote town of Chibok in Borno state, northeast Nigeria. Fifty-seven of the girls manage to flee.

Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, vows in a video to sell the girls as slave brides. An international effort is launched to rescue the girls.

-14 April: At least 75 people die in a bomb blast in a packed bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital Abuja - the deadliest attack yet on the city.

On 1 May, a copy-cat bombing at the same location kills at least 19 and injures 80.

- 20 May: Twin car bombings on a crowded market in the central Nigerian city of Jos, blamed on Boko Haram, kill at least 118.

Nigeria's government extends by six months a state of emergency in the northeastern states of Yobe, Adamawa and Borno.

- 1 June: A bomb attack targeting fans at a football match in the north-eastern town of Mubi kills more than 40 people.

- 3 June: Heavily armed gunmen wearing army uniforms raid four villages in Borno. Local leaders put the death toll as high as 400 to 500.

A day later another attack kills 45 on the outskirts of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri.

- 25 June: Twenty-two people are killed in a bomb attack on a crowded shopping centre in Abuja claimed by Boko Haram.

A car bomb explodes outside a fuel depot in Nigeria's financial capital, Lagos, killing at least four, but the authorities cover up the attack, an AFP investigation finds.

- 29 June: More than 50 are killed when suspected Boko Haram target churches in four villages near Chibok during Sunday mass, opening fire on worshippers and chasing them into the bush.

- 13 July: Shekau claims the Abuja and Lagos blasts and voices support for the leader of the Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

- 23 July: Two blasts rock northern Kaduna city killing at least 42 people, in what appears to be a double bomb attack by Boko Haram.

- 21 August: Boko Haram seizes control of Buni Yadi in Yobe state, where more than 40 schoolboys were killed in February, after taking over a number of towns in the northeast in a new holding strategy.

- 24 August: Shekau declares in a video obtained by AFP that Gwoza, in Borno state, was now part of "an Islamic caliphate".

- 28 August: Islamist fighters take control of Gamboru Ngala, where more than 300 civilians were killed in May.

- 2 September: Boko Haram captures Bama, 70km southeast of Maiduguri, according to local sources, after 24 hours of fighting.

The Nigerian army denies the claim but experts warn the government is losing control of the northeast.

- 3 September: Foreign ministers from Nigeria and neighbouring countries meet to discuss Boko Haram and its threat to regional security.