BY NDAHI MARAMA & BALA AJIYA
Boko Haram terrorists, Tuesday, killed 35 persons comprising 14 soldiers, 11 policemen and 10 civilians in separate attacks in Buni Yadi, Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State and Chinene village in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Divisional Police Officer of Bunu Yadi Division, Superintendent Hassan Thlama, was among the policemen killed, while many others sustained gunshot injuries.
In the attack, the palaces of the Emir and the District Head (names withheld), a police station and some military posts were completely destroyed, while in the Chinene attack, two Churches, shops and residential houses were set ablaze.
Buni Yadi is about 55 kilometers South of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital that had witnessed several attacks, particularly the attack on the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, which claimed the lives of over 55 students while they were sleeping in their dormitories.
Chinene village is South-East and a border community with Cameroon and about 130 kilometres drive from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Four-hour reign of terror
It was gathered that a large number of suspected terrorists invaded Buni Yadi at 5p.m. on Monday. They came in Hilux vehicles with military camouflage uniforms, improvised explosive devices, IEDs, petrol bombs and rocket-propelled launchers.
The attack, which lasted till 9p.m., targeted security formations. Many government structures including the Magistrate Court, and vehicles were destroyed.
A top security source in Damaturu, who confirmed the incident said: “The gunmen took all the security operatives in Buni Yadi unawares and wreaked havoc on mostly policemen and soldiers.
“Apart from 11 policemen and 14 soldiers killed, two persons suspected to be civilians, who were caught up in the crossfire, also lost their lives.”
A resident of Buni Yadi, Mallam Jubrin Usmanu, told Vanguard in a telephone interview that the gunmen only came for security operatives as they did not attack residents, but that civilians who died might have been hit by stray bullets.
He said the gunmen also burnt down the palaces of the emir and the District Head of Buni Yadi “without killing anybody as they first asked the residents in the palaces to leave before they set the places ablaze,” Usmanu added.
Another reliable security source said the dead bodies of their colleagues killed in Buni Yadi were evacuated to General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Damaturu, before conveying them to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital Mortuary for identification by their relatives on yesterday, while the injured ones are currently receiving treatment at different hospitals in Damaturu and Maiduguri.
The spokesman of the Military operatives in Damaturu, Lieutenant Eli Lazarus was contacted on phone several times, but there was no response at press time.
In a related development eight people were killed when some suspected terrorists riding in motorcycles and armed with AK47 rifles stormed Chinene village of Chikidr Joghode Kaghum ward of Gwoza council in Borno State.
The insurgents, according to sources also hoisted their flags in Ashigashiya Ward and other hilly border villages with Cameroon and were celebrating what they now claimed as their strongholds.
A resident, Mr. Joshua Jidda, said the gunmen invaded Chinene at 2a.m., yesterday, and opened fire on sleeping residents killing eight people, including an old woman in her 80s.
He gave the names of some of the victims as Bulama Dajiba, Bulama John, Haruna Kwatha, Haruna Wadda, Births Kurma, Haruna Waruda and Shaibu Galva.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jubrin, could not be reached as his phone numbers were switched off. A top police source confirmed the attacks and the number of casualties.