MAIDUGURI — Barely a day after the military authorities claimed that its troops had killed more than 150 Boko Haram terrorists and lost 16 of its personnel in an encounter in Maiduguri, no fewer than 23 persons were, yesterday, slaughtered in separate attacks in Kaga town, headquarters of Beneshiek Local Government Area of Borno State, as well as along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road by suspected Boko Haram terrorists who disguised in military camouflage uniforms.
Also, during the deadly attacks, several passengers including, women were abducted by the gunmen, while the Beneshiekh council secretariat, schools, more than 100 shops, residential and public buildings, as well as eight trucks and 12 vehicles were set ablaze.
Similarly, during a separate attack in Limanti village in Konduga Council area along Maiduguri-Biu road, three vehicles were snatched from their owners, while 11 passengers and motorists were abducted by a group of terrorists.
Several people abducted as suspected terrorists dressed in military camouflage
The incident took place at about 6:30 pm on Tuesday, which led to pandemonium as residents of Beneshiekh and the neighbouring villages fled the area in hundreds.
Beneshiekh is about 72 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital, which had witnessed series of attacks and killings.
It was gathered that in the latest attack on Beneshiekh, the terrorists in military uniform numbering more than 100 in a convoy of about 30 vehicles stormed the town, burnt down the Federal Road Safety Corps office, and set some security check-points ablaze. This was after they barricaded the highway, where they stopped motorists mostly coming out of Maiduguri and forced them to follow them, while those who refused to do so, were killed instantly.
It was gathered that many of the motorists and passengers, including women heeded the terrorists’ instructions by following them into their camps for initiation.
Survivor narrates ordeal
A lucky survivor who was abducted but escaped into the bush from the camps of the terrorists said, “I have to give my thanks giving to Almighty God in my Church on Sunday for sparing my life. I was abducted but as my living God would have it, I escaped from where the terrorists took us at about 2am. It was this morning that when I was walking in the bush, I saw a good Samaritan who led me to the same highway from where I was brought back to Maiduguri in one of the security vehicles patrolling the area.
He said: “In fact, many people were abducted and they are still with them in a bush which I cannot locate again.”
In an interview with the Special Adviser to Governor Kashim Shettima on Labour Matters, who is also from Beneshiekh, Comrade Garba Ngamdu said, “we are here to see the governor with some of my people over the incident. It is unfortunate that in Benesheikh town, the terrorists slaughtered five residents and burnt down several residential and public buildings, this is apart from the motorists and passengers that were killed and abducted on the busy Maiduguri- Damaturu highway which I don’t have the actual figure.”
Meanwhile, another group of terrorists, yesterday, disrupted the Maiduguri-Biu road by barricading the road in Limanti village in Konduga Local Government Area where they abducted some motorists and passengers, while three vehicles were also snatched from their owners.
The incident, Vanguard gathered happened at about 9:30am. No life was lost in the attack, but the whereabout of those abducted is yet to be known, as they were taken away by the terrorists to one of their camps along the Samisa Game Reserve/Forests.
The Police Commissioner in Borno State, Mr. Lawal Tanko confirmed the incidents to newsmen in Maiduguri.
He, however said, his command was still gathering facts on the number of casualties before briefing the press on the unfortunate incident.
Tanko said: “Yes there was a deadly attack in Benesheikh and other villages in Borno, we are working tirelessly with some of my teams to go to Beneshiekh and see the extent of damage, but right now, I cannot tell you the official number of people killed, or abducted, nor the number of shops and houses burnt down in the attack, because we are still compiling our facts.”
He, therefore, assured the general public that the security agencies have since been deployed in the affected communities to restore peace and also make sure that those who perpetrated such act are arrested and brought to book.