Maiduguri — At least 300 people were confirmed dead on Monday when Boko Haram gunmen in armoured vehicles stormed Gamborou Ngala town in Borno state.
According source the security forces earlier deployed to area, moved to the Lake Chad axis when they received intelligence report that some gunmen were sighted with abducted schoolgirls moving to the area.
The insurgents targetted a local market and fired sporadic shots into the crowd before proceeding into the town to wreak more havoc.
Gamborou, which is situated along Nigeria-Cameroon border is the administrative headquatres of Ngala local government of the state, about 200km from Maiduguri, the capital city.
Senator Ahmed Zannah, who is from the area confirmed the killings, said the invaders spent 12 hours wreaking havoc on defenceless civilians.
He said several other persons were also injured in the attack, while almost all the houses and shops in the town were burnt down.
Senator zannah, who spoke in a BBC Hausa report monitored in Maiduguri yesterday said many people were wounded, while surviving victims rendered homeless as thousands of houses and shops were burnt by the rampaging gunmen.
He pointed out that the attackers were armed with dangerous weapons comprising of Armored Personnel Carries , (APC), Improvised Explosive Devices, (IEDs), petrol bombs, assault rifles and Rocket Propelled Launchers (RPGs).
"The attackers stormed the communities in the night when residents were still sleeping, setting ablaze houses, shops and residents who tried to escaped from the fire, were shot " Shehu said.
He added also that " 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 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at the buidings.
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 upto 300. In fact as we spoke he wept following the high number of the dead bodies which littered the market", he declared.
According to him, the security forces earlier deployed to area, moved to the Lake Chad axis when they received intelligence report that some gunmen were sighted with abducted schoolgirls moving to the area.
"Initially there were many security operatives in the town to secure it from possible attacks. However upon receiving information over the movements of insurgents with kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls towards Lake Chad area,they withdraw and moved further to confront the gunmen.
It was just an hour after their withdrawal that the terrorists indaved 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 figures.
"It is really a terrible situation, we had wanted to rush relief materials to the area to provide temporary succor to the victims. But we were prevailed upon by security agents to shelve our plans on security reasons".
The official appealed to the state and Federal Governmenst to assist the area with resources towards rehabilitating the victims.