GUNMEN suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect on Tuesday raided two villages in Konduga council of Borno State, torching homes and markets and killing at least seven people.
According to an eyewitness and a Red Cross worker, Bukar Mai Rembe, “shortly after sunset, scores of gunmen in 4x4 trucks stormed Konduga village, spraying gunfire indiscriminately and setting the place on fire.
“The attack forced residents to flee the town into the bush while the gunmen went about setting fire to houses and markets,” he told AFP, declining to give casualty figures.
“It was crazy,” resident Sanda Goni said, adding that “hundreds” of houses had been burned in the attack that lasted roughly five hours.
“Most of residents are still in the bush, afraid to return to the town,” he said.
Separately late Tuesday, gunmen opened fire in the village of Wajirko, before retreating during a shootout with soldiers deployed in the area, resident Adamu Maude said.
“We lost four people in the attack and six more have been taken to hospital,” he said, adding that the attackers razed about 50 houses.
Borno and the neighbouring states of Adamawa and Yobe have been under emergency rule since May last year in a bid to stop the Islamist rebellion, which has claimed thousands of lives since 2009.
Konduga is about 45 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital located on the edge of the Sambisa Forest, which harbours a lot of terrorists’ camps in the state.
Governor Kashim Shettima who visited the town yesterday, stressed that the Boko Haram terrorists have no reason for unleashing fresh violence in the state. He directed the release of N100 million for relief materials to the affected persons.
The area had in the middle of last year witnessed deadly attacks when some terrorists ambushed residents including worshippers at a mosque killing over 50 of them, after setting the mosque ablaze as well as torching residential houses and shops.
Spokesman of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Col. Mohammed Dole, confirmed the incident, but pleaded that the casualty figure is yet to be ascertained as they are still compiling details.
“Yes there was an attack by suspected Boko Haram terrorists in Konduga council, please give us time so that we will feed you back with details after we might have concluded our findings”, Dole said.