The spate of merciless killings and bloodshed inflicted on innocent civilians by Boko Haram insurgents in various parts of Borno state continued on Monday night, with the insurgents invading Jakana village and killing 30 people.
Jakana which is about 30 kilometers from Maiduguri, has suffered series of attacks on security formations, allegedly carried out by Boko Haram.
This came barely 24 hours after a similar incident in which the militants attacked Mafa town, killing 36 natives and three policemen.
Several houses, shops and other structures were also burnt by the rampaging assailants in the attack which lasted for over two hours.
Sources said some of the victims were trapped inside their houses and burnt to death in the raging inferno set on the houses.
Residents of the area who escaped to Maiduguri told newsmen yesterday that the invaders numbering over 40, armed with sophisticated weapons, had stormed the village around 8pm and fired sporadic shots into the air, before setting houses on fire.
Residents who fled the area to Maiduguri, the Borno state capital told newsmen that the attackers had destroyed everything they had and killed many before the arrival of security operatives.
Momodu Aisami, who spoke to newsmen amidst tears, said the gunmen did not spare everyone, regardless of age and gender.
“They invaded the village in several Hilux vehicles and started shooting everyone at sight without resistance. They also went as far as setting several houses ablaze, while we fled into the nearby bushes for safety, the invaders still trailed some of us and killed them.
“When they came into the town we thought they were soldiers until they began to shout the usual ‘Allahu Akbar’ and spraying bullets o us, that was when we realised that it was an insurgent attack not soldiers.
“We all took to our heels those that were hit by the attackers bullet fell and some of us were lucky to flee without being hit by bullets”, he declared.
Another resident, who escaped to Maiduguri, Goni Ali said the dead victims were buried yesterday evening even as they intensified search for more corpses and missing persons inside the bush as well as under the rubbles of destroyed buildings.
“At the end of the onslaught that lasted close to three hours, over 100 houses and huts were completely razed down. At the moment, the village has been deserted while women and children were seeking refuge in neighbouring villages, with others fleeing to Maidiguri”, Ali said.
“In this instance, the militants did not take away any valuables from their victims, all they did was to kill and set houses ablaze.”
However, a security source who spoke to newsmen claimed that the insurgents also suffered much casualties as many of them were killed when they were ambushed by both the military and youth vigilante.
The source who spoke in confidence argued that the insurgents were very tactical in picking the corpses of their killed colleagues, that was why security forces don’t normally display their corpses.
Senator Khalifa Ahmed Zanna, who represents the area in the Senate, confirmed the attack in a phone interview with newsmen, saying 11 persons were burnt to death during the attack.
“I was infomed that 11 elderly people who were unable to flee due to their age, were trapped inside their houses and were burnt to death, with several others wounded, while in almost all the houses. “I was told there was nobody living in the town except for security officials, who were deployed to the area to restore normalcy.
Senator Zanna stated that when the attack begun, the insurgents had earlier fled when they sighted military approaching them, but later returned to wreak havoc on innocent natives.
In the meantime, there was an unconfirmed report of another attack launched yesterday afternoon in Baga town, along Nigeria-Chad border.
Though details of the incident were not immediately available as at press time, it was learnt that Boko Haram fighters had emerged from the desert and attacked security and civilian locations.
Similarly palpable fear pervaded community of Magumeri local government area of the state, forcing many natives to flee to Maiduguri.
This followed threat letters of impending attack purportedly sent by the insurgents.