For nearly four hours, Boko Haram terrorized a village and two nearby camps in Nigeria, leaving at least 86 people dead and over 60 people injured.
The Associated Press reports Boko Haram attacked Dalori village and two villages nearby which house about 25,000 refugees on Saturday night, shooting the villagers and setting houses on fire. Boko Haram burns children alive is a beyond-barbaric action, but the survivors of the latest attack confirm the militant group did not discriminate in choosing its victims. Screams of children burning alive in the homes could be heard by survivors who hid in trees and other areas.
The area is just about three miles away from Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram in 2002. It had a violent uprising in 2009 after its leader was summarily executed. Under its current leader, Abubakar Shekau, the Islamic extremist group pledged allegiance to ISIS in March, 2015.
Large numbers of bodies burnt, some beyond recognition, or shot, lay in the streets overnight. After the bodies were collected by Sunday afternoon, 86 were dead and 62 people are currently being treated for burns, according to Abba Musa of the State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri.
An official of the state emergency agency declined to be named, but said there were 12 bodies burnt beyond recognition at the scene of Boko Haram’s attack.
“We can’t even pick those ones, they were seriously burnt,” the official said after seeing the bodies and the destruction caused by the militant group.
One survivor, Alamin Bakura, recalled Boko Haram’s attack, which killed or injured some of his family and friends. While he hid in a tree, he said the burning, shooting, and explosions lasted for four hours before help arrived. He cried over the telephone as he told the Associated Press about the traumatizing incident which took the lives of many people, including children.
Survivors say Boko Haram arrived in the town on motorcycles and in two cars before causing the unspeakable carnage, shooting residents and setting homes on fire. Suicide bombers were readied to take action on groups who were caught up in the frightful chaos.
Those who survived the attack in the village and ran to the nearby village of Gamori were attacked by female suicide bombers from Boko Haram.
Nigerian military spokesman, Colonel Mustapha Ankas, said, “While people were running for their dear lives… three female suicide bombers attempted to make their way into the crowd… and subsequently got blown up.”
Ankas did not provide a casualty number from the suicide bombings.
Help arrived in Dalori around 8:40 p.m. on Saturday, but Boko Haram proved to be better equipped in the fight. Boko Haram continued to fight the troops until better-equipped troops arrived as reinforcement, with heavy weaponry.
Survivors were terrified of another attack, and said it took too long for troops to arrive to save them from Boko Haram. The troops came from nearby Maiduguri.
According to Reuters, it was the third attack from Boko Haram in a week, and the most deadly. The militant group has been using suicide bombers and hit-and-run tactics on softer targets as they lose more territory to the Nigerian military.
Thousands of people have been killed by Boko Haram, and millions have been displaced as they flee the area.
[Image via AP Photo/Jossy Ola]