2 June 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills 85, Burns Three Villages in Borno, Adamawa

Photo: Capital FM

Gunmen believed to be Boko Haram members yesterday killed 85 innocent Nigerians in the Borno and Adamawa, two states under emergency rule.

In the Borno attack, at least 45 people were killed and three villages burnt to ashes in separate attacks as sect members sustained their offensive on isolated towns and villages around the state, an eyewitness and officials said.

The first attack which took place at about 8pm on Friday was carried out on two villages, Wondula and Annari, all near Ngala town, while the second one occurred on Saturday morning in Warshele, another nearby hamlet.

"About 45 people died in the attacks and nothing that could be called building was spared as the gunmen set ablaze everything; they heaped food items into many of their vehicles and took away scores of livestock from the villages", said a local vigilante member, Muhammed Gavva.

The House of Assembly member representing the area, Hon Idrissa Jidda, who is also the majority leader in the Borno State House of Assembly, also confirmed the attack.

He said, "Dozens were killed and all the houses in the affected villages have been destroyed by the attackers. They went to the villages in a convoy of eight Hilux vehicles and many motorcycles and set buildings and stores ablaze. Most of our villagers have fled to nearby Cameroon and others have moved towards Dikwa in search of safety. We are in serious state of insecurity because the insurgents are killing our people with impunity," the lawmaker said.

A top official of the Department of State Service who pleaded anonymity, said, "Our office has received that report from Gamboru-Ngala, but we are not sure of the actual casualty figure, even though we are aware many persons were affected".

The officer said such isolated cases do occur "almost on daily basis, especially in remote and isolated villages and hamlets".

In Adamawa State, the sect yesterday attacked a bar and brothel located near a major military base in popularly known Kaban area in Mubi, killing at least 40 people.

Two security sources in the area told the online media SaharaReporters that a horrendous explosion rocked the bar and brothel which usually teems with civilians and soldiers.

According to the sources, the explosion happened close to 6pm local time, adding that none of the casualties was a soldier, but the other stated that it was too early to determine whether any of the dead were soldiers.

The bombed facility is a short distance away from the headquarters of the Special Operations Battalion (SOB) of the Nigerian army in Mubi.

The battalion is at the centre of the Nigerian government's counter-offensive against Boko Haram's increasingly daring attacks on military and civilian targets.

Soldiers based in Mubi frequently join civilians to eat, drink and dance at the watering hole, sources said, adding that military commanders generally warned soldiers not to stay at the joint past 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Cameroonian military has killed about 40 Boko Haram militants in the country's northwest over the weekend, after Nigeria labelled the nation the weakest link in its fight against the extremist sect, acccording to an online media Premium Times.

Prior to this recent development, Nigeria had raised the alarm concerning Cameroon's laxity towards efforts to stop acts of terrorism by members of the Boko Haram group, despite assurances at a recent summit in Paris, France, attended by heads of both countries.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Sarkin-Yaki Bello, the Coordinator-General of Nigeria's Counter Terrorism Centre, strongly criticised Cameroon's effort in rooting out Boko Haram.

"Niger has been proactive and aggressive; Chad has shown zero tolerance for Boko Haram," Mr. Sarkin-Bello said.

"Cameroon, we've engaged them to be more pro-active. They haven't really. Not yet."

Nigeria regards Cameroun as not cooperative as Niger and Chad in the fight against Boko Haram. One Cameroonian official denied the allegation, while a second blamed funding for the country's slow response.

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