January 29, 2014

Adamawa church attack: Death toll rises to 138

Adamawa church attack: Death toll rises  to 138

TERROR ATTACK—Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno State, yesterday, inspecting a burnt mosque and some houses after Sunday’s attack by a terror group in Kawuri, Konduga Lga of the state, where about 85 persons died and 300 houses destroyed. Below: Governor Shettima visits some victims of the attack in the hospital. Photos: NAN & Inusa Ndahi.

By Ndahi Marama & Umar Yusuf

Yola—The death toll arising from the two separate attacks on a Church in Chakawa village, Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State and  Kawuri village in Konduga, in Borno State has now risen to 138.

Armed men
Armed men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect attacked Chakawa village in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State as well as the Kawuri village in Konduga, Bornro State killing innocent people.

In Chakawa, the terrorists attacked a Catholic Church while the faithful were praying on Sunday with AK47 riffles and Improvised Explosive Devices, IED, killing many of them and wounding several others.
Also at Kawuri village in Borno State, another gang of terrorists invaded the rural community killing no fewer than 52 people.

Council boss speaks
However, the Chairman of Madagali Local Government, in Adamawa where a Catholic Church was attacked, Mr. Maina Ularamu said that local officials have counted 47 corpses, including those of two policemen, adding that several others who were wounded were still receiving treatment in  some hospitals in the area.

Ularamu said that the gunmen who were armed to the teeth with sophisticated weapons later invaded another border village and killed more people before fleeing to the neighbouring Cameroun Republic.
A resident of the area who pleaded anonymity, however, stated that he counted about 53 bodies before they were evacuated to hospitals.

Commander confirms attack
The Brigade Commander of the 23 Armoured Brigade, Yola, Brigadier-General Rogers Nicholas, confirmed the attack saying, however, that he was yet to ascertain the death toll.

Nicholas further said that the impact of the attack was minimal pointing out that the military was on top of the situation.

This was even as residents of the area said they were living in perpetual fear as more attacks could be launched since none of the attackers had been apprehended by the security operatives.

Catholic spokesman
The spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Yola, Reverend Father Raymond Danbouye, also confirmed that dozens were killed and that some of corpses were buried after a funeral service on Monday.

At Kawuri, Borno State, residents said that gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists attacked them on Sunday pointing out that they had so far buried 85 bodies even as more others were still being discovered.
The residents spoke when the state Governor, Kashim Shettima, visited to condole with them on the tragedy yesterday. According to them, they had buried 83 bodies earlier before recovering two unidentified bodies which were buried yesterday morning.

Victims with bullet  wounds
Councillor of Kawuri village, Dala Lawan, said about 40 persons with serious bullet wounds and burns were earlier recovered.

“We have been searching and burying corpses since yesterday. We first buried 53 corpses and more are still being picked up in the bushes. Those with serious wounds died. We have just found two more corpses which brings the death toll to 85 for now,” Lawan told Shettima.

A victim of the attack in the hospital.

A victim of the attack in the hospital.

Vanguard observed that some women, children and the aged who had high degree burns were writhing  in pains on hospital beds in Konduga town, about 10 kilometres away from Kawuri village.

A mother, Rabi Mallam, 46, who had second degree burns said she was hiding along with her son and grand daughter inside the room when the gunmen set their house on fire.

“We ran inside the house to escape the bullets from their riffles but they came and set our home on fire while shooting sporadically. We could not come out because they were shooting, we were there for hours before they left thinking we were dead. I shieded the kids with heavy blanket soaked in water, but we were still burnt badly. I cried for the children because they were calling me to take them out, but I couldn’t ,“ Rabi who had blisters all over her body said.

40 victims on admission
About 40 injured persons were currently on admission in the hospital.
A newly married couple who said they lost everything was among those fleeing Kawuri with other villagers at the time Vanguard visited the village alongside the state governor.

Meanwhile, Governor Shettima who shed tears while inspecting the level of the destruction of Kawuri village by the Boko Haram insurgents yesterday urged the remaining residents to take heart and leave everything that happened to God.
He, however, promised that his administration would rebuild the burnt houses even if they were burnt again.

Governor Shettima donates
Shettima then announced the donation of N250,000 each to the families of those who lost their beloved ones, even as he promised to settle all the medical bills of those injured.

The governor said: “It is sad that some innocent people who have never seen me or benefited anything from me as governor are being killed by terrorists in the name of politics. We pray that Allah will touch the heart of these terrorists so that they can lay down their arms and embrace peace in our dear state.”

Condemns killings
He also condemned the wanton killings and destruction of property on a daily basis in the state, describing it not only as anti-Islam, but callous and barbaric.

While at the General Hospital, Konduga, Shettima sympathised with a 12-year-old boy and another 80-year-old Mallam Mohammed Mustapha and prayed Allah to grant  them  quick recovery.