Unidentified gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State killed eighteen people suspected to be vigilantes/local hunters on Monday, just as five others were killed in Kano State, with two others seriously injured at Dakata area of the municipality.
Damboa is 88 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, which has witnessed series of attacks and killings in the past.
District Head of Damboa, Alhaji Abba Ahmed, made this known when the state Deputy Governor, Zanna Umar Mustapha, made a stopover in the town on his way to Maiduguri from Biu.
“Unknown gunmen, suspected to be members of Boko Haram, came to the town’s market and shot dead 13 local hunters on the spot while five others died from the injuries they sustained at the hospital,” Ahmed said.
It was gathered that the attacks came barely 24 hours after some gunmen shot dead a vigilante member in the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis, even as the state government has recently procured patrol vehicles for distribution to local vigilante groups to fight terrorism in the state.
Speaking further, the District Head said: “The gunmen are not residents of Damboa because they came to the market in a Volkswagen Golf car, carried out the operation and left.
“The 18 victims are local hunters who engage in killing monkeys and pigs or animals forbidden by Islam which they sell at the market.”
Police Commissioner, Mr. Abdullahi Yuguda confirmed the incident in a telephone interview, saying; “Yes, I received a distress call from the Divisional Police Officer in Damboa that some gunmen laid ambush in the town on Monday and I have already sent my men to the area. As soon as I get the details, I will inform you appropriately”.
Meanwhile, the Kano attack that led to the death of five people came on the day the state government banned commercial motorcycles in all the eight municipal council areas.
Eyewitnesses said that the gunmen arrived at a relaxation spot on three motorcycles and opened fire on the victims, adding that JTF operatives that were attracted by the sporadic shootings arrived a little bit late as the gunmen had escaped before their arrival.
It was gathered that the security agents on arrival took stock of the casualties and conveyed the corpses and the injured to the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital.