Supected Boko Haram Gunmen on Saturday night unleashed another round of terror in Izghe, a village in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State by killing dozens of people there.
The latest killings came barely a few hours before President Goodluck Jonathan during a Sunday worship service at the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Olive Tree Parish, Ikoyi, Lagos, reiterated his belief that activities of the radical Islamist sect represented Nigeria’s “unfair share of the negative news” across the world.
Only last Tuesday, the fundamentalists terminated the lives of no fewer than 67 people in Konduga in Borno State. Similarly, the sect killed snuffed the life out of over 115 people, including worshippers, in two communities in Borno and Adamawa states late last month.
In the group’s latest killing spree, they reportedly rounded up a group of men in Izghe, a largely Christian community and shot them during the attack that lasted about five hours.
Residents, who fled the area, said some of the victims were shot, while others had their throats slit by the attackers who were chanting the Arabic words, “Allahu Akbar” meaning “Allah is great.”
“All the dead bodies of the victims are still lying in the streets”, a resident, Abubakar Usman, told Reuters.
“We fled without burying them, fearing the terrorists were still lurking in the bushes”.
As is now typical with such killings, there were conflicting casualty figures given by some prominent indigenes of the area.
While Senator Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South senatorial district in the National Assembly, told the Agence France Presse that about 106 people were murdered, a resident put the figure at 93.
“So far, from information I have received from Izghe, 106 people, including an old woman, have been killed by the attackers, suspected to be Boko Haram gunmen”, Ndume said.
The resident, Mallam Bulama, told journalists in Maiduguri, Borno State, that the Islamists, who were dressed in military uniform, invaded the community “killing 93 people, and inflicting injuries on several others”.
“As I speak to you (journalists), many residents of Izghe are missing and those lucky enough to be alive have started leaving”.
Bulama added that the terrorists, who numbered about 100, stormed the community with sophisticated weapons and shot sporadically before setting many houses and shops ablaze.
The LGA Chairman, Maina Ularamu, who confirmed the latest attack, had told the AFP in Abuja that over 60 people lost their lives.
He said, “The gunmen killed many people in the attack late on Saturday. From the latest information I have gathered, more than 60 people have been killed.
“We suspect that the gunmen were members of Boko Haram. They have taken over the village.
“They looted businesses and food stores and loaded all their spoils into vehicles owned by residents and fled into the bush”.
Lamenting that the attack had rendered hundreds of villagers homeless, the LG boss said that he was about to return to Maiduguri to face the security and humanitarian challenges created by the killings.