Sunday, 2 February 2014

BOKO HARAM: 250 People Killed In Just Two Weeks

Residents of the volatile Nigerian state of Borno are beginning to worry the more over an increasing spate of attacks and cold blooded killings by the extremist Boko Haram sect, as death toll on reported incidences, in the last two weeks, rose to over 250.
Men walk amid rubble after Boko Haram militants raided the town of Benisheik in northeast Nigeria, on Sept. 19. Credit: Reuters/Landov
Men walk amid rubble after Boko Haram militants raided the town of Benisheik in northeast Nigeria, on Sept. 19. Credit: Reuters/Landov
This human casualty figure was first of such recorded deaths within a very short period in Nigeria since the year 2000 episode in the Niger Deltan village of Adeje in which a damaged oil pipeline exploded, killing more than 250 people.
The only difference between the Adeje episode and that of Borno was the time frame.
But the incident had drawn global attention due to the human casualty figure of a quarter of a million.
Some residents even believe the Borno casualty figures could be higher.

"Some of the attacks may not have been reported if they occurred in very remote locations, or did not carry a very significant number of casualties," said Mr. Lawan Musa, an official of the Civilian-JTF in Kawuri village.
The latest harvest of deaths happened early Friday morning when seven passengers traveling to Gwoza town in an 18-seater Toyota Hilux mass transit bus were killed after their vehicle got bombed by an explosive device believed to have been planted on the highway by the Boko Haram terrorists.
It is not certain if three of the passengers who survived with serious injuries would survive, as they currently lay critical in hospital.
Since January 14 when a massive blast from an improvised device killed 43 persons in the densely populated commercial area of Maiduguri, scores of lives have continued to perish under the feat of Boko Haram in satellite towns and villages surrounding Maiduguri, the state capital.
Premium Times authoritatively reports that no fewer than 31 of such towns, villages and hamlets, mostly occupied by local farmers, have been deserted as residents, who enjoy no security protection from the Nigeria Army and the police continue to flee to zones they consider safe.
An officer of the Nigerian Army at 7 Division, Maiduguri, who wouldn’t want to be named because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said most of the attacks currently being carried out by the Boko Haram terrorists "were on remote isolated towns and villages where it would have been difficult to reach in times of attacks as they are far away from most of the military posts."
Villagers lament that Boko Haram gunmen, who often invade their communities, driving several four-wheel driven vehicles and motorcycles, do come in troops of over 50, armed with explosives and sophisticated guns.
In Kawuri village of Konduga local government area, which the Boko Haram gunmen attacked on Sunday, January 28, and killed 83 villagers, comprising of men, women, and children, villagers said even the military had to flee for dear lives as the terrorists came in in larger number, armed with sophisticated weapons and explosives , shooting and setting houses ablaze.
Over 300 homes were burnt, and about 40 of the injured victims currently hospitalised got burnt while hiding inside their houses. Six of the dead victims were burnt beyond recognition. A member of the Civilian-JTF, Abubakar Ajimi, told Premium Times that the gunmen that attacked them on that ill-fated Sunday "came from all directions shooting and driving wildly in pickup vans."
"It was around 5pm or so when I was trying to get bathing water to some of the soldiers on check post here in Kawuri. I began to hear heavy sounds of shooting from all direction. I and Major and Oga Lebelebe (a nickname of a ranked soldier), and Oga Uta from Bama Barracks and one other soldier began to run for our dear lives. "The senior Major who was taking his bathe at that time had to abandon his clothing and uniform to join us in running for dear lives. We headed towards the bush where there was no sound of shooting; but suddenly, I had to stop when I realised that my wife and children were in the village and could be in danger.
"I told said that I had to go back to save my children or face whatever might befall them together. That was how I managed to get back amidst serious shooting and got into my house and found my wife and children hiding under our beddings. I also stayed with them in the dark room while the shooting was going on.
"We heard the Boko Haram gunmen shouting: “Boko Haram yazo, ga goro, kuchi!” (meaning 'Boko Haram has arrived, here is kola nuts for you to eat'). After saying that, they would open fire into the thatched houses and set fire on them. We were inside the house since some minutes after 5 p.m. and we did not come out despite the heat until 11:30 p.m., at night when the gunmen moved to the other side of the village. "Only a mad man would want to stand against them; the soldiers were outnumbered; they are not up to ten here in Kawuri," Abubakar Ajimi said.

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