No fewer than 200 people were killed in the border town of Gamboru, Borno State, on Monday when suspected Boko Haram sect members stormed the town.
Sixteen policemen were reportedly among the dead in the daytime attack that lasted for about four hours, residents and political leaders from the area disclosed yesterday.
The attackers, according to a witness, were decked in military fatigue, stormed the town driving dozens of pick-up trucks and motorcycles, with three armoured personnel carriers providing cover.
Some residents, who returned to Gamboru yesterday after fleeing to nearby Cameroonian villages, said they discovered that over 250 homes were destroyed by the insurgents.
A member representing Bama/Ngala/Kalabalge Federal Constituency of Borno State in the House of Representatives, Abdul-Rahman Terab, who spoke to Daily Trust by telephone while on his way to Gamboru, affirmed that over 200 people were killed in the violence.
“As I am talking to you now people are still counting the dead bodies. They have counted over 200 and they have not finished yet”, said Terab.
“Since morning, our people have been conducting funerals for the dead and up to 8pm (last night) they are not done yet. There’s no family that is not affected in Gamboru.
“They have burnt hundreds of houses and all markets in the town, so we need aid from the Nigerian government and the international community”, he added.
Rep. Terab said the Gamboru attack underscored the dire security situation in the area.
“This is the last border town between Nigeria and Cameroon in the eastern side, it’s the final frontier, and if such an attack could be done it means that we are vulnerable to any kind of external aggression”, he said.
“It means that we are not protected at all. Such places should be given top priority in our security system.”
Senator Ahmed Zannah (Borno South), also said the attackers burnt all the shops as well as the offices of the police and customs in the town.
“I spoke to my younger brother, who was inside the market at the time. He told me that anybody who said the number of the people killed in the attack is less than 300 must have been lying”, Zannah told the Hausa Service of the BBC.
“They burnt over 200 vehicles. People are crying all over the places”, Senator Zannah added.
Commenting on the response of security personnel to the attack, the Senator said, “The security people that came run away to Cameroon, and the ones that were already deployed in the town have along with the civilian JTF (vigilantes) crossed the Lake Chad in search of the missing girls”.