Boko Haram gunmen kill 44 Borno villagers

By The Citizen

Not fewer than 50 gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect launched a vicious attack on Dumba village on the outskirts of Baga town in Kukawa Council of Borno State, killing about 44 people by slitting their throats without firing a single gunshot.

Baga is on the shores of Lake Chad and 230 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the state capital.

This happened just as the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, Friday said the emergency rule has improved the security situation in the metropolis.

Also, the JTF and members of Borno Vigilance Youth Group (BVYG) had on Thursday shot dead two suspected Boko Haram sect members in women's dresses at the Njimtilo village of Maiduguri, while fleeing to Konduga town, where 47 people were recently killed by the suspected gunmen.

An eyewitness also said that besides the killing of the villagers, several house were torched by the attackers, while 25 villagers sustained injuries.

The Guardian learnt that rescue workers of the Nigeria Red Cross (NRC) have arrived the area from Maiduguri to provide medical services to the survivors of the attack.

According to an NRC source: 'When our rescue team reached the village on Thursday, some of the eyes of victims had been removed by the gunmen and we don't know the motives behind removing such organs after the victims had been killed.

'The attack occurred in the early hours of Wednesday before we rushed to the village, near Baga town, where over 150 people were killed by the same Boko Haram sect members last April.'

The source further disclosed that NRC Medicine Frontier officials were attending to the injured victims, adding that the village has been deserted and the people are taking refuge at the Baga Central Primary School.

An official of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) also confirmed the incident, saying the agency had equally mobilised to the area to assess the situation.

According to him, the agency would today set up camps for the resettlement of displaced Dumba villagers at the primary school.

Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt. Col Sagir Musa confirmed the incident Friday in Maiduguri.

Musa, who earlier told The Guardian that there has been 'consistent improvement in the level of security in Maiduguri metropolis since the emergency rule,' despite the inconveniences, fears and loss of revenue incurred by some residents of the state, could not give details on the number of casualties in the Dumba attack and the measure the security task is taking to prevent further attacks and killings.

On whether the security agencies' outpost stations are functional enough to protect people's lives and property, Musa said: 'Even in terms of security, most of the police stations, duty outposts of police, Customs and Immigrations that were closed are now re-opened.

'Schools and banks that were not working before in villages and towns are also being opened to students, teachers and customers.

'God's willing, all security agencies, particularly the JTF, will continue to maintain the momentum, and ensure that there will be no breakdown of law and order in this state, as witnessed previously.'

Speaking on whether the emergency rule has protected more lives and property, the spokesman said: 'If you look at the security situation in Maiduguri metropolis and its environs for the last one month, specifically from May 14, 2013 when the state of emergency was declared by Mr. President, there have been consistent improvements in the level of security. This is why you are seeing improvement in the level of social and economic activities in Maiduguri metropolis.'

The arrested terrorists, who disguised as females, were according to a vigilance youth, Babakura Isa arrested at Njimtilo village, in a 'stop and search' operation on the Maiduguri-Damaturu road at about 8.35pm on Thursday.

He said after the arrests, the two suspects were handed over to the sector commander of JTF that night for further investigation. Isa told also The Guardian that they wore pink brassieres and wore veils to avoid being arrested by JTF and youths.

Lt. Col Musa confirmed the capture and killing of two terror suspects on the Maiduguri-Damaturu road.