29 June 2014

Nigeria: 100 Feared Killed in Fresh Borno Attack

Photo: Premium Times
Boko Haram attacks (file photo).

Suspected Boko Haram terrorists again had a field day on Sunday in Borno State where they attacked five churches, including Cocin, EYN and Deeper Life Bible Church in Kwada village, about 10 kilometres from the beleaguered Chibok town, leaving no fewer than 100 people killed in their trail.

The attackers, according to reports from Chibok residents, targeted the time that the people were all in church for the Sunday worship.

"They killed and burnt houses after attacking worshippers in five churches in Kwada, and advanced to Kautikari less than eight kilometres to Chibok town, killing and burning down people's houses and properties.

"As at now we do not know about the efforts of the security; whether they are on ground or not but all our people, those who can flee have run into the bush and are being pursued by the murderers," a resident, Mallam Yahi, told our correspondent.

Chibok is the town where more than 200 students were kidnapped in the dead of the night from the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) dormitory by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on April 15.

It was gathered that, the people living in Chibok town have fled their homes following the news of the latest attacks in Kwada and Kautikari.

It would be recalled that few weeks ago there was panic in the entire Chibok Local Government, following a letter purportedly written to the people of Chibok by the sect members informing them of their plans to attack the local government again.

A top local government official in Chibok town, who did not want his name published, revealed this to newsmen in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, on Sunday.

According to him, when they met the police with the letter they were assured of maximum protection, but that the police also were complaining of fuel for their vehicles.

He said the local government also has assured the security operatives that they were going to buy fuel and keep it with the security for their use and also pleaded for reinforcement, as the number of security operatives in the area may not be enough.

"Whenever Boko Haram tells you that they are coming, they never failed to come. Our fears now are that we don't know when and how they are going to come; our people are in great fear.

"We are calling for prayers as well as government to provide adequate security in Chibok," the official said.

Meanwhile, death toll from the bomb explosion that rocked People's Hotel in Bayan Gari area of Bauchi metropolis on Friday night has risen to 13 with 34 injured.

Three more persons among those injured by the bomb blast died at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) Bauchi while receiving treatment.

Bauchi State Commissioner of Health, Sani Malami, told newsmen that 34 injured were brought to the hospital out of which 17 with minor injuries were successfully treated and discharged.

"There are 17 others with varying degree of injuries who are still on admission, but we are hoping that many of them would be discharged today (Sunday), while few will have to go to the theatre because of the seriousness of their injuries.

"Unfortunately, 13 people were so far confirmed dead. Ten dead bodies were brought to the hospital earlier and three more victims died in the hospital.

"What the hospital did was triage, a process where the doctors decide those who are critically injured that must go to the theatre, those who are injured but can be managed at the trauma centre and those who can be treated and be discharged immediately," the commissioner said.

He said others that were rushed to other smaller clinics within the town were referred to the ATBUTH for proper attention.

The commissioner commended the doctors and nurses who have to work throughout the night to take care of the victims.

According to him, Bauchi is known to be quite a peaceful state, but that "it quite unfortunate that this has happened".

"We are really shattered and heartbroken that this incident has happened in Bauchi and pray that it will never happen again."

He also prayed that those responsible would be apprehended and brought to book.

In the mean time, state Governor, Isa Yuguda, has directed that all the injured victims of the blast be treated free of charge on the bill of the state government.

The Governor gave the directive when he went round the major hospitals within Bauchi metropolis where the victims were receiving treatment.

He directed the state Ministry of Health to ensure that the injured victims received adequate medical attention no matter the cost.

He further directed that those that needed to be referred to other hospitals outside the state for proper medical attention be taken out without any delay to enable them get better.

Police in Jalingo, Taraba State capital, have also confirmed that unknown gunmen on Saturday trailed and killed 13 Fulani herdsmen who were returning from village markets in Garba-Chede and Maihula.

State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Joseph Kwaji, on Sunday said the herdsmen were waylaid and killed by unidentified group of armed youths along a bush path in the outskirts of Maihula in Bali Local Government area of the state.

According to him, no arrest has been made but the police command has beefed up security in the area to track down the perpetrators.

He added that it was not clear why the incident took place but that further investigation would be able to reveal the reasons for the attack and the people behind it.

Chairman of Bali Local Government area, Andrew Yerima, said the herdsmen were trailed by the armed men from Garba-Chede market where they were believed to have gone to sell their cows.

Yerima called for calm and advised residents of the area not to take the law into their hands.

He assured them that the culprits would be brought to book.

President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the Bauchi bombing and the recent mass killings in southern Kaduna.

The President commiserated with all the families who lost loved ones in the attacks and extended his heartfelt sympathies to all those who suffered injuries or lost their properties during the wanton assaults on both Bauchi and Kaduna states.

An Aso Rock statement on Sunday said Jonathan reassured residents of the two states that the Federal Government would continue to take all necessary action to "apprehend the perpetrators of the dastardly attacks and restore the fullest possible security to all parts of the country".

All Progressives Congress (APC) similarly condemned the attacks in Abuja and Bauchi, calling the Boko Haram group suspected to be behind them "despicable and inhuman in its misguided terror campaign".

In a statement in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party repeated its earlier statement that nothing can justify the spilling of the blood of innocent citizens, while commiserating with the families of the victims.

It called on the Federal Government to review its strategy for the fight against terrorism, saying whatever is being done now is definitely not working, hence the deadly terrorist attacks have almost become a daily affair.

"Whatever strategy being used by this Federal Government is not yielding enough positive results.

"Otherwise, these terrorists would not have gone from carrying out their attacks on the outskirts of a city like Abuja, for example, to exploding a bomb right in the heart of the city as was witnessed in Wuse 2 last week," APC said.

Also on Sunday, Igbo think-tank group, Aka- Ikenga, warned the Boko Haram terrorists to steer clear of the South East states in their best interest.

Speaking in a telephone interview with Daily Independent, President of the group, Goddy Uwazurike, believes that the arrest of a convoy of 33 buses conveying 486 suspected insurgents, including eight females, between Aro Ngwa and Imo Gate along the Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway was a clear indication that Boko Haram is trying to spread its operations to the South East.

According to Uwazurike, who commended the security agents for their vigilance, Aka Ikenga strongly believes that Boko Haram's mission is to wreak havoc by blowing up oil installations in the South East.

"Aka Ikenga condemns in totality the attempt to make the Boko Haram insurgency nationwide and we view with alarm the way they are spreading to the East.

"We still believe and very strongly too that those men aged between 16 and 25 are within the ages of crime, rioting, and military ranges," Uwazurike noted.

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