Boko Haram insurgents have killed 13 people and sacked two villages overnight in the restive town of Konduga in Borno State while another eight were killed Wednesday in four other villages in Dolari.
The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, confirmed the attack, yesterday, in Maiduguri.
Biu said, however, that troops rose to the occasion and repelled the invaders, who had repeatedly attacked communities in the Konduga Local Government Area over the years.
He disclosed that he had visited the attacked communities, Bularin and Kofa, including camps in the communities, housing thousands of displaced people.
“I was there. We recovered one dead body and saw burnt houses. Troops have been following up on the attackers,” said Biu.
A member of a militia, known as Civilian Joint Task Force, Alfred Audu, who claimed he was on duty at the time of the attack, said the insurgents engaged troops in a bid to force their way into the communities.
Audu said the insurgents were pushed back when fighter planes were deployed to confront the invaders.
Another eye-witness, who gave his name simply as Alhaji Modu, said that hundreds of the insurgents on trucks with mounted guns and motorcycles attacked the communities at about 7:45 p.m.
Modu said the insurgents launched rocket attacks and forced their way into the IDP camps and also attacked homes with ferocious fire.
He said that nine people were killed at Bularin IDP Camp and three others in the Kofa IDP Camp.
“An Islamic cleric together with his wife and three children were burnt to death when the insurgents sacked their home at Bularin IDP Camp.
“They burnt down the village market, shops, houses, animals and vehicles. Many people died in the attack while others are still missing.
“Bularin village was razed and several tents in the camp destroyed. Many people were displaced in the attack,” Modu said.
Boko Haram, which also operates in Cameroon, Chad and Niger has persistently attacked communities in northern Nigeria, especially the country’s vast northeast.
The Federal Government has, however, said that the insurgents have been decimated, although the group has been pulling deadly punches over the years.
Boko Haram launched its deadly campaign in 2009, vowing to enthrone a strict Islamic code in Africa’s most populous nation.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram has killed eight persons in an attack on an internally displaced persons’ camp and four communities in the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State.
The terrorist group attacked the villages: Kofa, Mallumti, Ngomari and Gozari at about 8pm on Wednesday.
The villages are on Bama road and not far away from Sambisa, which was once occupied by the terrorist group.
Confirming the attack to journalists, yesterday, the North-East Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, Bashir Garga, in a statement said: “Six people from Kofa village were killed as a result of suspected Boko Haram terrorists that attacked four villages in the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.”
He said the attack occurred on Wednesday at about 8.00 pm.
He said the attack was launched by the terrorist group on Kofa, Mallumti, Ngomari, Gozari villages, all in the vicinity of Dalori internally displaced persons’ camp.
Garga said the attack led to many villagers fleeing to the Dalori IDP camp for safety.
He said the terrorists followed them up and killed two IDPs, which increased the number of people killed to eight.
He said: “Many villagers fled to the Dalori IDPs camp which led to an attack on the camp vicinity that claimed the lives of two IDPs making a total of eight people dead.”
Garga revealed that “the terrorists gained access to the area through a bush path behind the villages and came in four vehicles and some motorcycles. They ransacked the market in front of the IDP camp.”
He said the villagers who ran into the bush for safety have returned back to their homes while the Borno State Fire Service have contained the inferno.
He also said the injured have been treated in the camp clinic, with serious cases evacuated to hospitals in Maiduguri.
The NEMA boss said an assessment team is on site to provide relief assistance to those affected.
But the Nigerian Army claimed that it foiled the attack by the insurgents at Dalori IDP camp and Kofa.
The army said it was an attempted attack at about 10pm.
It said the attack was aborted by troops of 251 Task Force Battalion, a statement by the Army on a Facebook post claim.
“The terrorists gained access through a bush path behind the village in four vehicles and some motorcycles.
They ransacked the market in front of IDP camp.
“On sighting own troops that were mobilised to the area, they set some houses and market ablaze and fled along Maiduguri-Bama Road. However one civilian was found dead.
“Own troops are presently assisting the villagers who ran into the bush back to their homes while the Borno Fire Service have contained the inferno,” the statement concluded.
Dalori camp, located few kilometers outside Maiduguri, is considered one of the largest in the state.
Eye-witnesses who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri said they counted up to 12 corpses after the attack.
Solomon Adamu, an official of the Civilian-JTF deployed in the camp, said “a total of 12 persons were killed here and outside the camp.”
“At Gwazari-Kofa, one person was killed, at Dalori IDP Camp II, two persons were killed; and at Bulabulin a village near the camp, nine persons got killed,” he said.
He said the attackers came in seven pickup vans.
“They were about 100 in number and all of them were fully armed. We had to run for our lives.”
NEMA, however, in a statement confirming the attack, said only eight persons died.
An eyewitness informed our correspondence via a text message that six persons were killed and two got drowned in a river while trying to escape. Our correspondence could not verify the case of drowning.
“Last night from 7.30 till 9.30 our camp was attacked,” said the source who, for safety reasons, would not want to be named in the media.
“We were so scared during the attack; lots of houses were burned; one man was killed and two other men drowned when they escaped.
“Villages near our camp were all burned. They also killed a family of five outside our camp.”
The source said soldiers guarding the camp could not save the situation.
“Most of the soldiers fled alongside we the IDPs and those leaving outside the camp.
“The General officer Commanding 7 Division, General Bulama Biu, came to the camp at 10p.m after the attack was over,” said the source.
Zonal coordinator of NEMA for North east, Bashir Garga, said in a statement he signed that “six (6) people from Kofa village were killed as a result of suspected Boko Haram terrorists that attacked four villages in outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
“The attack occurred on Wednesday night at about 8.00 pm. Kofa, Mallumti, Ngomari, Gozari, villages which are close to Dalori IDP camp were affected.
“Many villagers fled to the Dalori IDP camp for safety which led to an attack on the camp vicinity which claimed the lives of two IDPs making a total of eight people dead.
“The terrorists gained access to the area through a bush path behind the villages and came in four vehicles and some motorcycles. They ransacked the market in front of the IDP camp.
The military has not issued any official statement concerning the attack. But the GOC informed journalists on phone that the soldiers guarding the camp repelled the attack.
The Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa, visited the camp at about 3 p.m. to sympathise with the IDPs and residents.
Similarly, unknown gunmen yesterday abducted three officials of the Nasarawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NSPHCDA), along Nasarawa-Toto road.
Public Relations Officer of the Police Command in Nasarawa State, Mr Kennedy Idrisu who confirmed the incident, said that the three officials were travelling in a white Toyota Hilux van when the gunmen pounced on them at Bugan-Gwari village, at about noon,
“The abductors seized the workers and took them to an unknown destination,” he said, in Lafia.
He said that the victims were on an official assignment from Lafia to Gadabuke in Toto Local Government, when they were seized by the gunmen.
Idrisu said that a joint police and military team, in collaboration with the local vigilante, had been mobilized to the area with the view to rescue the victims and possibly arrest the abductors.
He said that the command was working assiduously to stem the tide of armed robbery and kidnapping in the state, and called for continuous support in that respect.
Contacted, Dr. Mohammed Adiz, the Executive Chairman of NSPHCDA, described the incident as unfortunate, but declined further comment.
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Author: The Tide