A new and alarming dimension was introduced yesterday into terrorist attacks by Boko Haraminsurgents as they attacked a town in Borno State with the help of foreign mercenaries, killing 11 persons burning down houses and shops.
A security source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that gunmen suspected to beBoko Haram members stormed Damboa town on Thursday night and laid siege to it for hours before launching an attack on residents.
They were reportedly helped in the attack by foreign looking men who spoke fluent Arabic and are believed to be from Chad, Nigeria’s northern neighbor.
The source confirmed that 11 persons were killed in the attack and that troops from the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, had been deployed to the area. However, the insurgents are said to have escaped before the troops’ arrival.
It was gathered that one of the attackers was captured alive by vigilante youths known as Civilian JTF, who tried to repel the insurgents’ attack. The youths armed with only machetes, daggers and knives were said to have surprised the attackers as bullets fired at them had little effect on them.
Yet another new dimension to yesterday’s attack was the insurgents’ deliberate and concerted destruction of many shops in the town as if they wanted to cripple economic life and businesses.
Giving more details of the attack, a resident who has fled Damboa to Maiduguri told journalists at the state capital on Friday that the attack was carried out by heavily armed gunmen numbering about 50 who came in a convoy of Golf cars and motorcycles.
The resident said that the attackers laid siege to rustic town for more than four hours between 8pm and midnight operating in a practiced and coordinated manner in three groups.
One group is said to have gone for the police, another for the military men while the third group concentrated on hapless residents, shooting indiscriminately and throwing bombs into houses and shops.