Written by Hamza Idris, Maiduguri
.Slaughter 11 ‘defecting’ members
. 13 dead after female suicide bombers strike
Suspected Boko Haram insurgents have between Thursday and yesterday killed no fewer than 53 people following sporadic attacks in villages in Askira Uba, Biu and Konduga Local Government Areas of Borno State, witnesses and security sources said.
The attacks were launched less than 48 hours after similar onslaught claimed the lives of 97 people in Kukawa Local Government Area and 48 others in Monguno Local Government, all in Borno State. Daily Trust Saturday reports that 29 people were killed yesterday (Friday) when suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked Mussa village in Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
Many residents of the village were reportedly trailed to the bushes and killed, survivors and vigilante officials said. Ezikiel Mala, a resident of Mussa said the attackers crossed a river near Yimradi Gwandam, another village in the area. “The terrorists were running away from assault by Nigerian troops because they have attacked many localities today before coming to our village. Much later, we saw armoured personnel carriers passing through our village after the terrorists left…probably pursuing the attackers,” he said.
Askira Uba is a border town between Borno and Adamawa states while Mussa village is 36 kilometres away from the border.
Sunday Wabba, the chairman of Mussa Youth Development Association who spoke to our correspondent on telephone, said the insurgents were well-armed. “This is a sad day for us because the terrorists have attacked us once again. They came with all sorts of weapons and opened fire on unsuspecting residents. So far, 29 people have been confirmed dead while many others sustained injuries. They operated between 1pm and left around 3pm after burning many houses. This is the fourth time they are attacking us this year,” he said.
The leader of the vigilante group in Mussa village, Umoru Jantiku, described the attack as deadly. “They came in broad daylight and opened fire on unsuspecting people. We are now preparing to recover corpses from the bushes but so far, 29 people have been confirmed dead,” he said.
A middle-aged woman who lost her husband said the terrorists have forced her into widowhood. “Today is a sad day for me. My husband, Sama’ila Bade was a harmless man but the terrorists killed him,” she said.
In a related development, sources said the terrorists yesterday also laid siege on Bama town in central part of Borno State. They also attacked Koshebe village in Mafa Local Government Area, also in Central Borno.
Bama is the second largest town in Borno State after Maiduguri, the state capital. The town was deserted following attacks by Boko Haram who also annexed it as part of their so called Islamic Caliphate before they were chased away by Nigerian troops in March, this year.
Though details of the attacks in Bama and Koshebe are sketchy at the time of filing this report, sources said there may be some casualties.
Similarly, in the early hours of Friday, Boko Haram insurgents reportedly trailed about 13 of their “defecting” members and killed 11 of them in Miringa village in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State.
Sources said the “defecting” members were forcefully conscripted by the terror group several months ago. It was gathered that when they saw the opportunity, the defecting members fled a base in Gwargware village in nearby Yobe State and joined hundreds of internally displaced people taking refuge in Miringa.
A member of the ‘Civilian JTF’, Bakura Kutafa, said Boko Haram militants went to Miringa around 3.30am and carefully selected their targets. “The terrorists came when most households were awake, trying to prepare meal for Sahur. They moved from house to house and picked 13 people, who according to them have committed sacrilege,” he said.
A resident of Miringa, Gwoni Tela said the assailants warned them not flee. “They said their targets are the infidels that abdicated and that we should not panic; they therefore took 13 people to the outskirts of Miringa and shot them, but two survived,” he said.
Modu Pulgwa, another resident of Miringa said he will leave the village. “Definitely I would leave, in fact, most of us would leave because the terrorists may likely come back, it is God that saved us and no one can tell what would happen next,” he said.
Our correspondent gathered that hundreds of people from various villages that are under threat are taking refuge in Miringa. Some of the villages include Gur, Buralzi, Talata, Ajigin, Madan, Chara, Dara, Zuwa and Bam.
Similarly, two female suicide bombers on Thursday wreaked havoc in Malari and near Alaw villages in Konduga Local Government Areas of Borno State. In the two separate missions at least 13 people, including the suicide bombers, died while 21 others sustained injuries. But the police said 11 people died in the attacks.
Borno State Police Commissioner, Aderemi Opadokun who confirmed the attacks, said there was an explosion at Malari village on Thursday at about 2:00pm. “A female suicide bomber detonated IED (Improvised Explosive Device) strapped to her body and killing herself and 7 others. Thirteen people sustained injuries in the attack,” he said, adding that 13 persons sustained injuries in the first blast.
Kallamu Ango, a trader in Malari said a woman who hid explosives beneath flowing clothes attacked some worshippers who were observing noon prayer at a mosque near the village market. “Nine people were killed and many others sustained injuries,” he said. Boko Haram insurgents have stepped up attacks in the past one month and have succeeded in killing hundreds.
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