No fewer than 30 teenage boys within the ages of 13 years and above as well as several girls in the range of 11 years and above were allegedly abducted by suspected Boko Haram insurgents within the past one week in Mafa local government council of Borno state.
The Caretaker Chairman of the council, Alhaji Shettima Maina, disclosed this yesterday, while briefing newsmen on the latest series of attacks launched by the insurgents in the area.
Maina appealed to the federal government to deploy troops to the area to stem the massive abductions, regretting that dozens of the insurgents, who carried assault rifles and armored vehicles, had forcefully abducted boys and youths in the series of onslaught they carried out in the area within the last seven days.
“We are appealing to the federal government to come to our aid, as the insurgents have been invading our communities, killing everyone at sight and forcefully abducting both male and female youths in the area.
“Once they storm the community, they start killing everybody, before abducting all boys between 13 years and above and take them to their base. The insurgents also abduct all girls aged between 11 years and above”, the chairman further alleged.
“From the information available to us, about 30 youths have been abducted in the last one week but we can’t ascertain the actual number of ladies being held. The situation is horrifying, as the insurgents were tormenting the communities by carrying out daily attacks.
“Based on the current attacks, many households have had to escape to Maiduguri and other neighbouring towns for fear of being killed or losing their children to the insurgents. We have reported the problem to the authorities but no action has been taken yet,’’ he further cried.
The chairman also confirmed the killing of 17 persons after last week’s attacks by suspected insurgents, at a village called Ndongo.
“At least 17 persons were killed, 300 cows stolen by the militants in last Thursday’s attack on Ndongo community; we were unable to bury the corpses till the following day”, he added.
In a related development, Cameroonian troops killed 39 Boko Haram fighters in clashes with the suspected terrorists, who were carrying out three raids on Cameroon’s territory, the defence ministry said yesterday.
Friday’s fighting in the far north of Cameroon near Nigeria also claimed four civilian lives, the ministry said, in a statement sent to AFP.
Another two groups of Boko Haram Islamists entered Cameroon at around the same time, but were “immediately intercepted and neutralised by our defence forces who destroyed three 4×4 vehicles equipped with machine guns, killing 27 assailants,” said the ministry statement.
The report issued by the ministry has not been confirmed by independent sources. There were also no details on any casualties suffered by the army.
Last week, it said it killed 107 terrorists during fighting that also saw eight Cameroonian soldiers lose their lives.