At least 30 people were killed by Boko Haram militants in a co-ordinated attack carried out at three villages in Nigeria over the weekend. According to ABC News Australia, the attacks happened in the north-eastern region of the country where there has been considerable unrest over the course of the past few months. Twenty others were reportedly injured in the attack, which happened on Saturday. The news of the Boko Haram attack was slow to emerge because the militants had destroyed all telecommunication lines and telecom masts in the area during previous attacks. The villages attacked by Boko Haram included Warwara, Mangari, and Bura-Shika, all of which were located in the Borno state of the country.
According to Mustapha Karimbe, a civilian helping the Nigerian military fight Boko Haram several of the victims were brutally slaughtered by Boko Haram militants. Many of the injured have machete wounds on their bodies. Most of the deaths also happened due to machete wounds. Before leaving the battered villages, the men also set houses and buildings in the area on fire. Several villagers reportedly fled to another town, Biu, located around 30 kilometers away to escape the carnage.
“Most of the victims were slaughtered and most of the wounded (had suffered) machete cuts,” Mustapha Karimbe told media persons.
Worst affected in the attacks was the village of Warwara where an estimated 20 people were left dead after the attacks. This has been confirmed by an individual identified as Musa Suleiman who says he is a vigilante working for the Nigerian government. In Bura-Shika, six villagers died while in Mangari, there were four deaths, a Yahoo News report confirmed.
This is one of the deadliest attacks to have taken place in Nigeria ever since President Muhammadu Buhari took office back in May. In fact, ever since his ascendancy to Presidency, there have been more than 1,530 deaths caused by Boko Haram attacks alone, an AFP report said. Local residents say the attacks by Boko Haram in towns and villages near the Nigerian military chief’s hometown is in response to the counter-insurgency operations mounted by the Nigerian army against Boko Haram in the area since the past few months. In fact, even the town of Buratai has been targeted by Boko Haram in the past. In previous attacks, boko Haram had murdered people and looted entire villages.
The last major attack by Boko Haram had, in fact, happened just a few days ago – on Thursday when at least 14 people were killed in a village called Kamuya. This village was the hometown of the Nigerian army chief’s mother. Several of the victims in the Kamuya attacks were decapitated by Boko Haram militants. The village was also partially burned down as the men left.
The Nigerian government had vowed to end the insurgency by Boko Haram by the end of the year. However, it seems the number of attacks have only gone up since the announcement was made. That said, the Nigerian military has made several inroads into Boko Haram and has managed to thwart several attacks of this nature in the past. They have, however, not been able to prevent suicide attacks by Boko Haram militants in Nigeria. Boko Haram attacks are also taking place in the neighboring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Ever since the insurgency started in 2009, an estimated 17,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram militants. Several countries in the region have constituted a 8,700 member strong Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which comprises troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin to fight the menace. The MNJTF was supposed to have been deployed by July but has not been deployed yet.
[AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi, File]