No fewer than 34 motorists and passengers plying the Maiduguri- Biu federal Highway road were reportedly killed between Thursday and early hours of yesterday in Limanti Village, Konduga Local Government Area of Borno state.
Two people were also allegedly killed in the early hours of yesterday in a fresh attack in Nbiyak village, Kadarko District in Wase Local Government Area of Plateau State, bringing the number of people killed in the two states within the period to 36.
Limanti is about 50 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital where many motorists and passengers were abducted and killed last week by suspected members of Boko Haram insurgents.
Saturday Vanguard also gathered that there was heavy concentration of Vigilante Youths a.k.a Civilian JTF on the streets of Maiduguri metropolis following intelligence report that Boko Haram had issued threat letters of another deadly attack on some wards/ communities over the week end.
It was gathered that the terrorists numbering over 50 and armed with sophisticated weapons barricaded the Maiduguri – Damaturu Highway between the period with the intention of stopping motorists and passengers, particularly those they believed were heading to Maiduguri to board flight at the Maiduguri International Airport for the 2013 Hajj exercise which was launched by the Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo in Maiduguri last Saturday.
Unconfirmed reports said that following the renewed attack, the Yobe State government has suspended its earlier plan to airlift its pilgrims from the Maiduguri International Airport as it has resolved that its intending pilgrims would now take off at the Kano International Airport.
The motorists killed by the gunmen included some security personnel on bank escort duty.
Mallam Musa Ali, a member of vigilante youths who also accompanied some of the security operatives to Limanti said, ” we were able to convey over 30 corpses from the scene of the incident. We also, evacuated some women who were lucky not to have been killed by the terrorists.”
The Borno State Assembly member representing Damboa Constituency, Alhaji Lawan Gwasha confirmed the attack to newsmen in Maiduguri saying “my people reported to me from the village that many people were killed on Thursday and Friday by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members.
The state Police Commissioner, Lawal Tanko and the acting Spokesman of the newly established 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Sagir Musa could not be reached for their comments on the issue at press time.
In Jos, PlateauState, gunmen numbering about 20 also attacked Nbiyak village, setting several houses on fire and shooting sporadically as the residents made efforts to escape.
The attack according to the source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the attack lasted for about an hour, leaving two people, one man and one woman dead.
“There had been rumor that some people suspected to be Fulani were planning to attack our village, we reported the rumor to security agencies in the area but they ignored the threat.
“The attack was actually carried out as rumored and they killed two people. I also know some people are missing and have not been found,” the source said.
Spokesman of the Special Task Force, STF, keeping the peace in the state, Captain Salisu Mustapha told Saturday Vanguard on telephone that he was yet to be briefed on the development.
He said, “Honestly, I can not confirm the report now because I am just on my way to Jos. Yours is the second call on this issue and I am trying to find out which of the villages was involved and other details.”
By Ndahi Marama & Marie-Therese Nanlong, Jos