Scores have been reported killed in Damasak, Borno State, as suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked the town with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs. Damasak is 187km north of Maiduguri.
The gunmen were said to have stormed the town around 7 am in a convoy of Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles.
The terrorists were said to have looted and torched several houses and shops before soldiers intervened at around 11.45pm, yesterday.
“I cannot give you the exact number of people killed today (yesterday) here in Damasak, but many people were killed while fleeing into the river and to Gashigar and Diffa towns for safety,” a Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) said. “The gunmen used IEDs and petrol bombs in attacking this town in the morning while most residents were still in their houses.”
Senator Maina Ma’aji Lawan confirmed the attack. According to him, “the residents of Damasak, a border town with Niger, are in confusion with sporadic gunshots and looting of shops and houses. The reports I am receiving, as I speak, indicated that a lot of houses and shops there were set ablaze by insurgents that struck Monday morning. Most of the gunmen were dressed in military uniform to disguise as Nigerian soldiers sent to protect Damasak, only to launch multiple attacks on this border town with a population of over 250,500.
“The firing powers of the gunmen overwhelmed our soldiers in the MJTF, so what they did was to flee the town for safety like the residents that fled into Niger this morning,” the senator said.