30 gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists rode on motorcycles at dawn to attack Azir village in Damboa council area of Borno State, killing four residents and injuring seven others in the early hours of Saturday.
Azir village is a farming and cattle-rearing community, 107 kilometres south of
Maiduguri, the state capital.
The gunmen also torched several houses and shops with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs, before fleeing into the Sambisa Forest, east of the village.
A source resident in Damboa yesterday told ThisDay in a telephone interview that the Boko Haram sect issued a threat letter to the village head early this month that the people should vacate their village, as the Islamist sect group will execute the work of Allah (God) in the night of undisclosed date.
“Two weeks after the threat letter, we were shocked and terrified by 30 gunmen on motorcycles; and surrounded the entire village, shooting sporadically at people fleeing, before setting most of the houses and huts ablaze. Some of the villagers had to flee into nearby farmlands for safety, while others climbed trees to hide, as the village was burning with plumes of smoke for two hours last night,” the source said.
He however said he could not really comment on the number of casualties.
“I cannot tell you the exact number of people killed, but definitely four of our people were shot dead, before their children and wives, while fleeing for safety that night along with other villagers to the bush and farmlands. Also seven villagers had broken limbs and fire burns; and they had been taken to an undisclosed hospital in Maiduguri for treatments,” he said.
He lamented that the villagers were left without security from either the Military or police from Maiduguri, stating that before Saturday’s attack, the soldiers and policemen patrolling Maiduguri-Biu road had been withdrawn, giving the gunmen free room to operate.
Confirming the attack, Borno State Police commissioner, Tanko Lawal said he is howevr yet to get details on the number of casualties from the Divisional Police Officer in Damboa. He said that as soon as he got details of the attack, the Police Public Relations Officer (DSP) Gideon Jubrin would inform the press.