Members of the Boko Haram sect continued their onslaught on vigilante youths, popularly called “Civilian JTF, when they launched an attack on a village in Borno State, killing 12 of the young men.
Eighteen others were injured in the attack which occurred inBenesheikh, the headquarters of Baga local government, just as the youths also killed five of the insurgents.
More than 100 of the young men in the vigilante movement, who have been assisting the military to root out the insurgents from their hideouts, have been killed in retaliatory attacks by Boko Harammembers.
In the attack on Benesheikh, which is some 72 kilometres fromMaiduguri, the state capital, insurgents launched their offensive very early on Sunday employing surprise tactics.
According to the leader of the vigilante group in Benesheikh,ModuAbuwar, the youths had some intelligence that the insurgents planned to attack the town and had prepared for battle.
“We had received information early in the day on Saturday that theBoko Haram would attack Beneisheikh after they had attackedDamboa and Gajiram,” Abuwar told journalists on his hospital bed where he is receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the attack.
He said, however, that the Boko Haram members tricked the youths by stealthily stealing into the town during the night to climb on trees where they laid in wait for their targets until morning when they started shooting at people.
The vigilante leader confirmed that the insurgents killed 12 of the youths and injured 18 others who were rushed to the University ofMaiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH for treatment.
He also confirmed that five of the sect members were killed and that in spite of their superior number, the other insurgents were forced to flee when they faced resistance from the youths.
Abuwar also said that some arms, including pump action guns, were recovered from the fleeing insurgents
A special adviser to governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has visited the UMTH to commiserate with the injured youths. The governor’s aide, Garba Ngamdu, who is from the area, told newsmen that the chairman of Kaga local government was going to pick up the bill of all those injured in the attack.
Spokesman of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Sagir Musa, a lieutenant colonel, said some suspected Boko Haram members disguised as members of the vigilante group attacked Benesheikharound 12.30 am and that the youths killed six of the insurgents.
Musa disclosed that soldiers have already been deployed to the area to help the youths in searching for the fleeing sect members.
“Some elements of 21 Brigade troop have been drafted to the area and the attacked had been repelled,” noting as at last night that “troops were still combing the general area in search for fleeing terrorists,” he stated.