* Kills over 50 old men, women

* Soldiers kill 75 sect members

THE Boko Haram terror sect has launched a fresh assault, killing well over 50 old men and women in what has been described as serial massacre of residents of Gwoza, Dhimankara, Ville, Kuranabasa, Gudugum  and other towns and villages in Borno State it seized.

The victims are said to be too old to leave their places of abode whenever the terrorists arrive.

This is coming on the heels of the attack launched by the terrorists on two towns, Damagum in Fune Local Government Area and Mamudo in Potiskum Local Government Area in Yobe State.

According to reports sourced from some of the local hunters helping the military Joint Task Force in the war against the insurgents in Borno and other states of the North-East, members of the Boko Haram in charge of the area had begun a deadly clampdown on elderly people who could not flee the captured town and other places under their control.

An operative with the Nigeria Vigilante Group, Muhammed Gava, who is an indigene of Gwoza town but resident in Maiduguri, told Sunday Tribune that many elderly people had been so brutally killed in recent times.

According to him, “we heard that more than 50 old men and women have been forcefully taken to Government Day Secondary School, Gwoza, where they would assemble them and then open fire on some of them.”

He disclosed further that similar actions had been taken by the terrorists to decimate the elderly population in the captured communities, adding that a relative from Gwoza, who spoke to him from the top of the mountains using phone lines tapped from Cameroonian networks, said “more people are being forced to assemble in other areas like Dhimankara, Ville, Kuranabasa, Gudugum and some other nearby villages.”

Some of those people to be killed, he stated further, “were taken to Uvaghe Central Primary school to be lined up and shot.”

The report could not be verified, as efforts made to get security sources to confirm or deny the latest assault by the Boko Haram terror sect did not yield any result.

The attack on the Yobe towns, according to reports, were launched when residents of the towns were about to retire to their homes on Friday.

A trader in Damagum, Mallam Wakili Yahaya, informed journalists by telephone that he and other residents began to hear gunshots at about 6.00 p.m.

“The shooting started at about 6.00 p.m., shortly after the late evening prayers; we didn’t know what was happening, but when it became persistent, as we continued to hear it coming from the direction of the local government secretariat, we had to flee to our homes,” Mallam Yahaya narrated.

“We are still lying down on our bellies now, as I speak and everywhere is quiet, but we continue to hear periodic shooting and sounds of many motorcycles moving around the streets; that makes us to fear that our town may have been taken over by Boko Haram, because no one is allowed by the soldiers to ride motorcycles, once it is 6.00 p.m.,” he added.

Details of the ongoing attack were sketchy as of the time of filing this report, as the police and the military could not be reached for comments.

Meanwhile, troops, on Friday, reportedly killed more than 75 members of the terror sect at Bulabulin village, near Damboa town of Borno State in an attack launched by the insurgents themselves.

But military authorities, which did not specify the number of the insurgents killed, said “a very large number” of them died in the attack.

An electricity company official, who witnessed the incident as he worked alongside his colleagues to fix some of the destroyed electrical installations in the area, said the insurgents “were in large number when they came to town. But it was as if the soldiers were aware of their coming. So, they laid ambush for and then opened fire on them, killing over 70 of them, while others abandoned their vehicles and fled.”

Corroborating the development, military authorities, via a statement by PRNigeria, said the clash between the insurgents and the soldiers followed information that the electricity company was a target of the sect’s attack.

“The clash followed the troops’ move to stop the terrorists who were in the process of attacking the electricity engineers who were working to restore power to parts of Borno State.

“A large number of the terrorists died in the process, while their improvised explosive device (IED)-laden Hilux van was destroyed,” it said.

The statement added that Defence Spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, confirmed the incident, but insisted that the exact casualty figures were still being ascertained.

It was learnt that during the encounter, troops also captured a Hilux vehicle earlier stolen by the terrorists from the Borno State Ministry of Education, which they had repainted and mounted with an ant-aircraft gun.

Sunday Tribune learnt that other weapons recovered by troops included rocket-propelled grenades and rifles.

The troops, however, lost two soldiers in the encounter.

 

Sunday Tribune

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