Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
The Nigerian Army has assured of a peaceful yuletide season as it plans an onslaught on Boko Haram strongholds.
The assurance came even as insurgent attacked and killed at least seven people in as village in Borno State.
Spokesman of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Muhammad Dole, a colonel, regretted that insurgents have carried out successful coordinated attacks on innocent civilians in Borno state, especially in Gwoza area, but said that peace would soon return to the state.
“As I am talking to you now, operation is going on and it is going to be a continuous one. The troops of 7 Division with air support from the men of the Nigerian Air Force are carrying out assault on the terrorists. We have identified their camp around the Bita area and we are determined to make all the border communities and the state generally free of Boko Haram activities so that people can move freely and celebrate the Yuletide peacefully,” he said.
But as if to challenge his assurances, gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members killed seven persons and injured 15 others in an attack on Doron Baga village near Baga town, a fishing community in Kukawa local government area of the state.
The attack, suspected to have been a revenge mission, occurred in the early hours of Saturday.
Those injured were taken to Umaru Shehu Ultra-modern Hospital in Maiduguri to be treated while the 7 persons killed were buried in accordance with Islamic rites.
Fear gripped the whole community throughout Saturday as a result of the attack as soldiers combed the area for clues on the attackers.
A fisherman who witnessed the incident told journalist that he barely managed to escape.
“We were going to the river to check our nets that we set yesterday night, as it is normal practice here among us we usually go in group. Some were however ahead of our group, those ahead were ambushed by some hoodlums and our group had to immediately take to our heels,” he narrated.
He continued: “Those behind us also took a cue from us and ran for their lives. We summoned courage later and went to the riverside to confront the hoodlums but all we saw were the seven corpses and people in pains, moaning from the injuries sustained in the attack.”
He added that the corpses were immediately conveyed to the village for burial while those injured were rushed to Maiduguri with the help of the military who escorted them from Doron Baga to Maiduguri in two vehicles.
A relation of one of those injured, Isa Yunusa, who was at the hospital in Maiduguri told journalists: “We were taking our breakfast this morning when people came shouting my name from the street near my house, this made me to rush out and meet them. On seeing them, they told me that my brother was attacked along with others at the riverside by Boko Haram. We went to the Bulama (village head) where they were assembled and after the funeral prayer of those killed we brought those injured to hospital in Maiduguri.”
It was impossible to get official confirmation as at the time of filing this report with telecommunication still lockdown in Borno state.