Premium Times (Abuja)

3 March 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram Invades Mafa Village, Borno, Kills 32

Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members on Sunday night attacked and killed at least 32 people in Mafa Village, some 45km east of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, officials and a witness said.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the villagers had been forewarned of the attack and many of them fled their homes about a week ago.

The warnings were allegedly handed down by Boko Haram members via leaflets dropped around the village.

According to the Senator representing Borno Central, Ahmed Zannah, the gunmen not only massacred the hapless villagers, but also razed down the entire village.

Mr. Zannah told journalists that two police officers died in a bomb explosion targeted at an Armoured Personnel Carrier while they were trying to evacuate injured victims.

"I have officially received a detailed report from my constituents in Mafa that 29 people among which was a woman died during the attack. Two policemen also died this morning as they went to evacuate injured people," the senator said on Monday.

A resident of Mafa, Modu Yuraim, who survived the attack, told journalists in a telephone interview that "We have performed the burial of 32 persons, among them was a woman".

Mr. Yuraim said the attackers came in various vehicles at about 8 p.m. and began to shoot sporadically. He said most of the houses, which were of thatched roofs, caught fire.

"They have set on fire the entire village, sparing nothing. All houses, all shops and government buildings were razed down completely; we have been devastated beyond what one can describe," he said.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the attack, which started at about 8 p.m. lasted over five hours; a development that left many wondering why it took security officials so long to arrive the village which is just about 45km away.

"I was reliably informed by my people that all the soldiers in Mafa fled during the attack because they could not stand the superior weapons of the Boko-Haram," he said.

Mr. Yuraim added that apart from the houses that were burnt down, the gunmen also burnt down seven trucks loaded with goods, as well as other vehicles.

The chairman of Mafa Local Government Area, Abubakar Zulum, said the loss suffered by the people, apart from the 32 lives lost, were worth billions of Naira.

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