By NewsGram Staff Writer
In yet another gruesome attack by Islamist terror group Boko Haram, nearly 150 people have been massacred in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno state.
According to eyewitness statements, the gunmen stormed the village of Kukawa near Lake Chad on Wednesday evening, killing 97 people, including women and children.
On Tuesday, 48 men were shot dead after they had finished prayers in two villages near the town of Monguno which has now been recaptured from Boko Haram, quoted AFP News.
Last month, at least 23 people were blown to pieces in the town after a confiscated Boko Haram bomb exploded during celebrations to mark the successful military operation against the Islamist group.
Since 2009, the year Boko Haram launched its violent campaign to establish militant Islamist rule, at least 17,000 people have been killed, says Amnesty International.
Merciless Killing Spree
The Wednesday attack which saw more than 50 militants storming Kukawa was a ghastly onslaught which spared no one, eyewitness Babami Alhaji Kolo was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.
“The terrorists first descended on Muslim worshippers in various mosques who were observing the Maghrib prayer shortly after breaking their fast.
They spared nobody. In fact, while some of the terrorists waited and set most of the corpses on fire, others proceeded to houses and shot indiscriminately at women who were preparing food”, Kolo said.
“Many died, some escaped. They then set the village on fire. I saw five victims with bullet wounds who managed to escape. They were brought to [Monguno] on wheelbarrows, before they were transferred to vehicles that took them to hospitals”, Kolo further added.
Magnitude of threat
“The jihadist fighters who had recently been flushed out of their stronghold in the Sambisa forest had settled in these villages close to Lake Chad”, says Mohammed Tahir Monguno, a local politician.
Monguno had had notified the military of the jihadists’ presence, warning that the villages were not safe.
According to the BBC, these are the worst Boko Haram attacks for many weeks.
Frequent bombings have been carried out by the terror outfit ever since it’s presence was weakened by a regional military offensive to recapture most of the territory it had controlled.
Further, the group is still holding many women, girls and children captive, including 219 schoolgirls it kidnapped from a school in Chibok in April last year.
Nigeria’s new President Muhammadu Buhari says his main priority is improving the regional effort to defeat Boko Haram.