Boko Haram Kills 300 In Borno, Abducts 11 More Girls
In another daring operation, members of the terrorist Islamic sect, Boko Haram, on Monday night killed about 300 people in Gamboru Ngala, Borno State. Gamboru Ngala is a border town with Cameroon.
The Boko Haram insurgents also abducted 11 more girls in Warabe and Wala communities in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State late on Monday.
The insurgents reportedly drove into Gamboru Ngala in armoured vehicles.
It was learnt that the insurgents, who seemed to have targeted a local market, shot sporadically at traders at the market before proceeding into the town to wreak more havoc.
Gamboru is situated along Nigeria-Cameroon border and is the administrative headquarters of the Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State. It is about 200 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital city.
Senator Ahmed Zannah, who is representing the area in the Senate, confirmed the killings. He said the invaders spent about 12 hours wreaking havoc on defenceless Nigerians.
He revealed that several other persons were injured in the attack, while almost all the houses and shops in the town were burnt down.
The senator, who spoke in a BBC Hausa report monitored in Maiduguri on Tuesday, said many people were wounded, while surviving victims rendered homeless as thousands of houses and shops were burnt by the rampaging gunmen.
He claimed that the attackers were armed with dangerous weapons comprising Armoured Personnel Carrier, Improvised Explosive Devices, petrol bombs, assault rifles and Rocket Propelled Launchers.
“The attackers stormed the communities in the night when residents were still sleeping, setting ablaze houses and shooting residents who tried to escape from the fire,’’ he said.
He added, “About 300 persons were confirmed dead after the incident, with several others injured. Almost all the houses in the communities were destroyed by the hoodlums who threw IEDs at the buildings.
“My brother who was at the scene of the attack told me that the actual number of the dead cannot be ascertained but at least they are up to 300. In fact, as he spoke he wept following the high number of the dead bodies which littered the market.”
According to him, the security forces earlier deployed in the area, had moved to the Lake Chad axis when they received intelligence report that some gunmen were sighted with abducted schoolgirls moving to the area.
“It was just an hour after their withdrawal that the terrorists invaded the town, shooting everyone at sight and setting buildings on fire. So far 200 vehicles and thousands of houses, shops and an outfit of the Nigerian Customs Service, (NCS) were all burnt”, he explained.
A local government official who declined identification also confirmed the casualty figure.
“It is really a terrible situation, we had wanted to rush relief materials to the area to provide temporary succour to the victims. But we were prevailed upon by security agents to shelve our plans for security reasons,” the official said.
The 11 girls were reportedly seized in Warabe and Wala when gunmen invaded the communities.
Warabe is about 160 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital.
The community is located on the outskirts of Gwoza town, which had witnessed a series of deadly attacks by suspected terrorists in recent times.
Police sources and residents confirmed the kidnapping of the girls, said to be aged between 12 and 15.
A resident of Warabe, who said he had since relocated to Gwoza, Ishaku Bremcha, said through the phone on Tuesday, “There was a twin ambush by gunmen last night along Guduf-Gava route of Gwoza Hills. The gunmen came through the settlements of Hwa’a, Chikedeh, and Guduf-Wala hills down to Wala Kasa, and proceeded to Dure village, west of Gwoza town with 11 abducted teenagers into Sambisa Forest last night.
“The abductors did not inflict injury or kill any of us in Warabe and Wala, but took away 11 of our young daughters into the forest, after warning us not to report the kidnappings.”
The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Tanko Lawal, could not be reached for confirmation because GSM lines to Maiduguri were inaccessible.
But a top police officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said some armed hoodlums attacked two villages in the Gwoza council area “and abducted about a dozen teenagers.”
A resident of Warabe, Mallam Bello Umar, who spoke to journalists in Maiduguri, said, “A group of terrorists invaded Warabe village on Sunday night, abducted 11 of our teenage girls and carted them away with our foodstuffs and livestock.
“As I am talking to you now, I have run to Gwoza Council headquarters, and even in Gwoza, we cannot move around easily due to the fear of the terrorists.
“The situation is so pathetic that almost everyone in Gwoza congregates at a safer zone close to the council secretariat where there is enough presence of security personnel.”
Umar said the gunmen, numbering over 20 and armed with AK-47 rifles, stormed the village but that they did not kill anybody.
“They simply abducted the 11 teenage girls before fleeing towards the hilly border areas between Gwoza and Cameroon Republic,” he added.
Reuters also quoted another resident of Warabe, Lazarus Musa, as saying on Tuesday that gunmen invaded the village and abducted the girls.
“They were many, and all of them carried guns. They came in two vehicles painted in army colour. They started shooting in our village,” Musa reportedly said.
A police source, who could not be named, also said the Warabe girls were taken away in trucks, along with looted livestock and food.
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