BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI
Violence erupted again in Borno state, as 30 gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists on motorcycles attacked Azir village in Damboa council area of the state, killing four residents with the injuring of seven others in the early hours of Saturday.
Azir village is a farming and herdsmen community, and 107 kilometres south of
Maiduguri, the state capital.
The gunmen, in the dawn attack, also torched several houses and shops with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs, before fleeing into the Sambisa Forest, east of the village.
According to source, a resident of Damboa yesterday in a telephone interview said the Boko Haram sect issued a threat letter to the village head early this month that the people should vacate their village, as the Islamist sect group will execute the work of Allah (God) in the night of undisclosed date.
“Two weeks after the threat letter, we were shocked and terrified by 30 gunmen on motorcycles; and surrounded the entire village, shooting sporadically at people fleeing, before setting most of the houses and huts ablaze. Some of the villagers had to flee into nearby farmlands for safety, while others climbed trees to hide, as the village was burning with plumes of smoke for two hours last night,” the source said while explaining how some villagers escaped from being killed yesterday night.
On casualties of attack, he said: “I cannot tell you the exact number of people killed, but definitely four of our people were shot dead, before their children and wives, while fleeing for safety that night along with other villagers to the bush and farmlands. Also seven villagers had broken limbs and fire burns; and they had been taken to an undisclosed hospital in Maiduguri for treatments.”
He added that the villagers were left without security from either the Military or police from Maiduguri, stating that before Saturday’s attack, the soldiers and policemen patrolling Maiduguri-Biu road; were however; withdrawn early this month.
This, he explained, enabled the gunmen to cash in on non-protection of the village against insurgency attacks and killings of yesterday.
The Borno police commissioner, Tanko Lawal confirmed the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, but said he is yet to get details on the number of casualties from the Divisional Police Officer ( DPO ) in Damboa, adding that as soon as he get details, the Police Public Relations Officer ( PPRO ) DSP Gideon Jubrin will call our Correspondent as at the time of going to press.