No fewer than 40 people, including teenagers, were killed at the weekend when suspected Islamic militants, Boko Haram, attacked three villages of Chuha A, Chuha B and Korongilim, in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State.
The attackers, according to sources, also destroyed many homes, shops and vehicles after carting away foodstuffs and livestock. A middle-aged youth leader in Chibok, Mallam Yakubu Joshua, confirmed the incident on the phone.
He said: “Some suspected Boko Haram terrorists invaded Chuha A, Chuha B, and Korongilim villages, killing over 40 persons.
“The terrorists injured many other villagers, burnt many houses and made away with our foodstuffs.
“The attack, which commenced around 7am on Sunday, lasted over five hours before the military intervened.
“I and other residents of Chibok had made frantic telephone calls to the military authorities but unfortunately, they (military) only started bombing the surrounding area of the attack after over 40 of our people had been killed.
“The lifeless bodies of our people still littered the three villages of Chuha A, Chuha B and Korongilim, but our present fear is that many innocent villagers may be hit by the ongoing bombings by the Nigeria military,” Joshua said.
Also, the Chairman, Sector 5, of the local vigilante group in the state, Abba Aji Khalil, confirmed the attack, saying “our members in Chibok and neighbouring local government areas are already in hot pursuit of the suspected terrorists.”
Efforts to confirm the incident from the Borno State Police Commissioner, Lawal Tanko, and the spokesman, Gideon Jubrin, were unsuccessful, but a senior police officer confirmed the deadly incident.
In a related development, a suicide bomber yesterday hit a military post with a bomb-laden car in Gwoza, near a secondary school in the state, killing three security operatives while three others were wounded.
The suicide bomber, it was learnt, came through Wala and Warabe villages on top speed and hit the military post with deafening noise that rocked the neighbourhood, after which people started to scamper for safety.
“We were woken up this morning with a bomb blast on the road near the school. Some of us started to run for safety, while others fled to the hilltops of Gwoza. I cannot say the exact casualties, but three soldiers were killed while others took to their heels.
“There were no civilian casualties, as some people were still asleep when the suicide bomber detonated the explosives that killed him and the three,” a source told our correspondent on the telephone.
The source said the casualty figure could have been higher as people were prevented from plying the road by the military for safety since last month.