Posted by News Express | 15 July 2014 | 4,367 times
At least 106 innocent Nigerian lives were lost when bloodthirsty terrorists ran riot yesterday in three northern states, reports from the affected areas have said.
While The Guardian reported at least 45 dead when suspected Boko Haram gunmen, in a convoy of over two dozens of Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles, attacked Dille village in Borno State, in the early hours of yesterday, Vanguard said over 50 people were killed in Gidandawa District of Maradun Local Government Area in Zamfara State. Meanwhile, 11 persons were feared killed by suspected Fulani militants masquerading as herdsmen at Zamadede in Pil-Gani district of Langtang North Local Government of Plateau State.
According to Njimtiku Papka, who fled to the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, yesterday, the gunmen came in vehicles laden with explosives and started shooting sporadically in the village to kill any villager that fails to cooperate with them.
“Some of us have to flee into the nearby hills for safety because the insurgents did not spare any person in their attacks and killings in the last three or four months,” he said.
“Monday’s attack brought to five the number of villages in the area attacked by Boko Haram gunmen without any arrest by the military or police since last January,” Papka said.
According to him, among the people killed are the ones considered as informants to the military.
On how the village was attacked, he said: “We were caught unawares by the gunmen’s dawn attacks, because most of us were asleep by then. Suddenly we started to hear people chanting God is great in Arabic and shortly, they began to shoot and burn our houses and locked up shops with petrol-bombs. Some children and women started crying, but they have to flee for safety for over six hours.”
It was also learnt that two hours after the attack, a fighter jet flew in and hovered for half an hour, to probably track the fleeing insurgents.
Sources from the Divisional Police Station in Askira town could not ascertain the exact number of casualties in the attack but said it took the insurgents over two hours to raze down the entire Dille village.
“Over three dozens of villagers lost their lives along with several houses and shops. The insurgents came through the Uba-Lassa road in their Hilux vehicles, while others used motorcycles in attacking the village in the early hours of Monday,” the Police source said.
The Zamfara tragedy is said to be a reprisal attack, the attackers reportedly invading the area at about 5am when the residents were getting ready to start the day’s fasting, killing anybody on sight.
Eye witnesses said that about 40 persons who died on the spot were buried in a mass grave and in accordance with Islamic rites even as more bodies were later discovered from the bush.
An eyewitness who gave his name as Isa said: “We heard heavy gun shots that were loud enough to wake everybody from sleep early this morning (yesterday). The gun shots were also coming from the direction of Maradun, which is not too far from here.
“However, later, we started bringing in corpses of men, women and children who were allegedly killed by the invaders. This was early in the morning.”
The State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Lawal Abdullahi, confirmed the incident, saying only seven people were killed in the attack, contrary to what was being speculated.
“Actually it happened, but not like you said about the casualties. However, it is not good for anybody or groups to take the laws into their hands” he added.
In the Plateau incident, the gunmen attacked two communities and started shooting indiscriminately killing 11 persons, including a 45-year-old mother with her little son and a pregnant woman.
A source who spoke to journalists further said several homes were burnt. An eyewitness who lost two members of her family, Mrs. Baby Hosea, described the incident as sad, lamenting that her people were killed in their sleep.
The cause of the Plateau attack could not be ascertained but a villager who spoke anonymously said it took place at about 2am at Zama Dede and Ganlang villages with the attackers killing seven and three persons respectively.
Reacting to the attack while speaking with newsmen in Jos, the state capital, the member representing Langtang North/Langtang South Constituency in the House of Representatives, Beni Lar, expressed regret that it had shaken the foundation of peace being enjoyed by the people.
She described the communities which were attacked as “peace loving, with hardworking farmers,” wondering why some people would be so cruel in taking lives of innocent citizens, particularly at the time the Federal Government through the national conference was trying to find a lasting solution to farmers/herdsmen clashes.
Hon. Lar appealed to the people of her constituents to remain law-abiding as government was doing everything possible to create grazing grounds to prevent such clashes in future.
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Abu Emmanuel declined comments on the matter, saying he was yet to briefed on the issue by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Langtang.
•Photo shows scene of a Boko Haram attack in Borno.
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