Gunmen kill 30 villagers, torch houses in fresh Borno attacks
OVER two dozens of Boko Haram gunmen in a convoy of Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles yesterday attacked villages of Kayamla and Kwajaffa in Borno State, killing 24 people and torching several houses and market stalls before fleeing into the Sambisa Forest.
Kayamla and Kwajaffa, are fishing and farming communities, and 25 and 217 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the state capital.
According to Pinkar Thakwa, who fled Kwaffa yesterday to Maiduguri, said that the gunmen initially came to the village to preach, and later used the gathering of villagers at a mosque to kill before setting several houses and shops on fire.
Thakwa said: “We were deceived by the gunmen who came to our village to preach, but ended up killing 25 of our people in this village. My escape to Maiduguri was however facilitated by God who gave me the strength to flee the burning village before reaching Maiduguri this evening at 5:00 p.m.”
He told The Guardian that he left his wife and two children behind when two gunmen pursued me into the bush, but that he escaped through a narrow path that leads to the hilly areas of Hawul that night.
At Kayamla village, the gunmen were said to have attacked the market in the afternoon and carted away some food items and livestock from traders before setting the market stalls ablaze.
The local village head, Kumbosso Kyari, said that after snatching the livestock in the market, the gunmen also shot dead five traders that brought the livestock for sale.
“The insurgents are desperate for food and cash to operate in the Konduga-Bama axis, because this is the sixth time they are attacking us here. What have we done to these people that kill without any genuine cause. In the last attacks, over 55 people were killed here in this village, and some of the villagers have fled to Maiduguri for safety since last year,” Kyari lamented.
On the incessant attacks on Borno villages, he said: “It was obvious they were looking for food to replenish their supplies because they didn’t target residents as they normally do as they had done yesterday in this village near Lake Alau.
Meanwhile, troops and local vigilantes also yesterday confirmed Kayamla attack.
“We had to mobilise from the nearby town of Konduga to the village but the attackers left before we arrived the village,” said Musa Abubakar, a Konduga vigilante.
He said: “When we reached Kayamla, the gunmen had left. We ended up finding four dead traders in the deserted village market and we were told by residents that the attackers took away food supplies and livestock and fled into the Sambisa Forest by noon.”
He said with the combined ground and aerial military operations in Borno State, most of the insurgents’ training camps and hideouts had been destroyed.
“They have now resorted to “hit and flee” the soft targeted villages in the Sambisa Forest and other communities located on the peripheries of forest,” Abubakar added.
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