Posted by News Express | 23 November 2014 | 3,474 times
Dozens of civilians were reportedly killed when suspected Boko Haram militants attacked Doron Baga, a border town in the insurgency-wracked northeastern Borno State on Friday, locals and security sources said. A security source put the number of those killed at 52.
“Although many of our people died, some of us escaped though we are now refugees,” Rabiu Daku, a resident of the fishing town, told The Anadolu Agency from the provincial capital Maiduguri.
The militants had reportedly arrived the town at 6pm on Friday.
“It is true but it could have been worse if it had occurred late at night,” Daku said.
He urged authorities to step up security in the area and across the region.
“We were attacked earlier this year and last year too and people died during each of those attacks,” Daku fumed.
The Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states are the most ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Despite military presence in the region, militants’ attacks do not seem to have abated.
A police officer in the provincial capital Maiduguri confirmed the Doron Baga attack.
“Residents of Baga near our border with Chad said about eighty militants in pickup van and motorcycles attacked the area, leaving up to 52 people dead,” he told AA, asking not to be named.
“We heard victims died either of gunshots or were hacked or slaughtered,” said the officer.
“The multinational military force in the border area has raised the alert to increase surveillance owing to the attack,” he said.
The force, which comprises troops from Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, patrol the borders for cross-border crimes, including Boko Haram attacks.
It had been in existence since early 1990s but was reactivated at the dawn of the Boko Haram insurgency five years ago because of the militants’ cross-border activities.
The police officer described the Doron Baga attack as a return to Boko Haram’s hit-and-run tactic.
The insurgents recently went from their hit-and-run attacks to capturing territories which they then labeled part of an Islamic caliphate.
But recent military onslaught and vigilante attacks appear to have reversed the trend, leading to deaths among the militants.
Boko Haram, which first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against government misrule and corruption, became violent after the killing of its leader in 2009 while in police custody.
In the five years since, Boko Haram has been blamed for numerous attacks and thousands of deaths.
•Photo shows a Borno community after a Boko Haram attack.
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