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Published On: Wed, Apr 16th, 2014

Boko Haram kill 18 travellers in Borno

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boko-haram-logoFrom Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

The dreaded Boko Haram insurgents, dressed in military uniforms, yesterday morning blocked Maiduguri-Gwoza road and killed 18 travellers.

This came barely four days after a similar incident in which gunmen blocked Maiduguri-Damboa road and killed eight travellers.

Witnesses said the militants in the latest onslaught, which occurred in Wala village of Gwoza local government area of the state, disguised as soldiers and barricaded the road.

It was further gathered that the incident happened when over 20 insurgents believed to have emerged from the nearby hills barricaded the road and forced motorists to stop.

The slain victims comprised of passengers and commercial drivers, while several others sustained injuries.

Malam Shettima Grema, who claimed to have escaped from the attack unhurt, told newsmen on phone that the assailants intercepted several commercial and private vehicles before embarking on selective killings.

“We were travelling from Maiduguri to Gwoza; while we were approaching Wala we sighted heavily armed soldiers on the middle of the road and directed us to stop.

We quickly stopped thinking they were federal troops on routine stop -and- search operation, our assertion later proved to wrong when saw some people lying dead with bullet wounds on them”, Grema said.

According to him, nobody could have thought the insurgents were fake soldiers as all their vehicles were painted with military colours.

“We later realized they were Boko Haram when they started interrogating everyone, I suspect they were only targeting communities of Gwoza town because they selected those from the area and shot them dead. While those presumed to be travellers on transit from other areas were spared, we were lucky to be among those allowed to go unhurt”, he declared.

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