Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
A federal lawmaker, Ahmed Zannah, representing Gamboru Ngala local government area, said Tuesday that at least 300 people were killed on Monday in Gamboru when well-armed Boko Haram insurgents invaded the town.
Gamboru is situated along the Nigeria-Cameroon border and is about 200km from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Zannah said the insurgents stormed a local market in the evening armed with sophisticated weapons and fired sporadically into the crowd, killing many before proceeding into the town to wreak more havoc.
He said the attack lasted about 12 hours.
Apart from those who were killed, many others were injured and nearly all the houses and shops in the town were razed.
The lawmaker told the BBC Hausa service that the attackers used Armoured Personnel Carriers, APCs, Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, petrol bombs, assault rifles and Rocket Propelled Launchers, RPGs.
“The attackers stormed the communities in the night when residents were still sleeping, setting ablaze houses and shot residents who tried to escaped from the fire. My brother who was at the scene of the attack told me that the actual number of the dead cannot be ascertained but at least they are up to 300,” he said.
He also explained why the operation ran smoothly without intervention from the military.
“Initially there were many security operatives in the town to secure it from possible attacks. However, upon receiving information over the movements of insurgents with kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls towards Lake Chad area, they withdrew and moved further to confront the gunmen,” he said.
Zanna said the attack came barely one hour after the withdrawal of the army from the area.
A local government official who declined identification also confirmed the casualty figures.
“It is really a terrible situation, we had wanted to rush relief materials to the area to provide temporary succor to the victims. But we were prevailed upon by security agents to shelve our plans or security reasons,” the official said.