Boko Haram kills 134 in fresh Borno attacks

By The Citizen

No fewer than 40 persons have been killed by Islamist militants in the Northeast town of Monguno in Borno State.

A local official told British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporter in Abuja that they had been slaughtered; another resident said they were shot.

The killings were said to have happened two days ago but details are only now emerging.

Monguno had been over-run and occupied by Boko Haram fighters until they were recently driven out by the Nigerian military.

At least 23 people died in the town last month after a confiscated bomb exploded during celebrations to mark the successful military operation against the Islamists. Eyewitnesses to the latest killings said an unknown number of injured survivors have been rushed to hospital.

Besides, military and police sources in Maiduguri yesterday said about 97 people have been killed in fresh multiple attacks on Kukawa town of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram gunmen. The attackers came in a convoy of Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles laden with explosives, setting houses and shops ablaze.

The multiple attacks and killings, according to residents, occurred while Muslim faithful were preparing to break their Ramadan fast and dusk prayers in mosques.

'Many people were killed. I don't think our men were there at the time of the attack,' a military source said yesterday.

A member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), Bashir Ahmed, also told The Guardian that the insurgents rounded up many residents and shot them in two separate mosques and injuring several others.

Ahmed said: 'People were just preparing to break their Ramadan fast and already gathered in nearby mosques when Boko Haram people came on in a convoy of Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles painted in ash colour. They rounded up people and opened fire on them. Boko Haram later set fire on several houses. One of our colleagues who escaped the attack said they're recovered 97 dead bodies, some of them burnt beyond recognition before burying them this afternoon (Thursday).'

Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said that the priority of the present administration is to rehabilitate the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast region.

Osinbajo, who stated this at the palace of the Lamido of Adamawa in Yola, while on a one-day visit to the state, said he was instructed by President Muhammadu Buhari to visit the state and re-assess the level of destruction caused by the insurgents in order to enable government take appropriate action.

He said that the President was very worried by the plight of the Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and is keen to ensure that they have a place in his government.

'President Buhari instructed me to visit the IDPs and re-assess their level of devastation.

'I am to assess their feeding condition, shelter and whether they have been properly taken care of and to report back to him.

'I want to assure you that the rehabilitation process will commenced immediately after these reports are presented to the President.'

Osinbajo, also noted that the cost of rehabilitation would be expensive, but said that the Federal Government would do everything within its powers to ensure that the displaced persons are comfortable.

In his remarks, Dr. Barkindo Mustapha, the Lamido of Adamawa, acknowledged that the task of governing the country was not an easy one.

He, therefore, called on Nigerians to support the government as it strives to make Nigeria great again.