Posted by News Express | 27 January 2015 | 9,511 times
Residents are fleeing parts of Maiduguri, Borno State capital, and neighbouring Munguno, to safer locations, following the simultaneous attacks by Boko Haram insurgents on Sunday.
This was despite the insurgents being repelled by the military with death toll from the Maiduguri attack alone hitting 100 and heavy fighting still going on in Munguno as at yesterday.
In Monguno, some 5,000 people had fled their homes as at last weekend. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it had registered them at a newly-established camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri.
Speaking to journalists in Maiduguri, AbdulKadir Ibrahim, the information officer of NEMA North-East Zonal office, said the state government had donated a housing estate to house the IDPs.
Ibrahim said many more people were likely to find their way into the town, stating that 2 000 persons arrived Maiduguri on Sunday with the rest arriving yesterday.
“At the moment, we have registered the 5000 persons and we are expecting more, we have put the needed materials that we make them settle to their lives at the camp,” he stated.
He disclosed that the housing estate the government donated is on Gubio Road at the outskirts of Maiduguri.
While the casualty figure in the attacks was being gathered, more than 100 people, mainly insurgents, were said to have died in fighting on Sunday in Maiduguri, hospital workers who counted the bodies at the biggest morgue said yesterday. The hospital workers said the dead also included soldiers and a few civilians.
Disturbed by the stench, the hospital workers said the morgue was full of the bodies, with another 50 people receiving treatment having been injured in the battle.
And with the battle still on yesterday to recapture Munguno from the insurgents, the casualty figure is likely to be higher.
Indeed, troops backed by air strikes were still fighting yesterday to recapture Monguno from Boko Haram insurgents who had seized it a day earlier, security sources said.
The insurgents had launched several simultaneous attacks early on Sunday. One had hit the outskirts and airport in Maiduguri.
They then hit two other towns, including Monguno, which lies on the shores of Lake Chad.
Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, told BBC radio’s Hausa-language service: “I call on the people of Borno State not to panic. This is our land. No fear, no flight, no retreat. We should not flee. We have a history dating back 1,000 years and I swear by Allah we are going to beat [Boko Haram].”
Shettima confirmed that the situation was “bad in Monguno,” and that people had fled to Maiduguri, where the military was screening them in case any of the militants had infiltrated the displaced population.
Meanwhile, the curfew imposed by the military on Maiduguri on Sunday was lifted yesterday. Army Spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, announced the lifting of the curfew from 6pm, saying: “People can go about their legitimate business.”
•Adapted from a Newswatch Times report.
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