Some Maiduguri Youth have formed anti-Boko Haram vigilante.
At least 16 suspected Boko Haram members were killed in separate incidents by security personnel in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital in the last 48 hours; while the sect’s members allegedly shot dead 13 civilians in the troubled city, sources said.
PREMIUM TIMES reporter on Saturday saw decomposing corpses of eight people, believed to be members of the Boko Haram. The corpses were dumped in a ditch near Biu road bridge of Maiduguri even as residents of the area said the victims died on the spot after a shootout between them and soldiers at about 10:30 p.m. on Thursday.
A security operative who doesn’t want to be named because he was not permitted to speak to the press told PREMIUM TIMES that “among the eight corpses were three teenagers who were arrested with arms earlier on Thursday and they led soldiers of the JTF to the five others who usually send them on kill operations.”
The source added that the five persons resisted arrest by firing on soldiers who gunned them down and dropped their corpses in the ditch.
Barely 24 hours later, another set of eight suspected Boko Haram gunmen were on Friday shot dead after they opened fire and killed 13 innocent civilians among which was a middle aged woman popularly known as Hajia Ummu and her 70-year-old mother.
“The Boko Haram gunmen slipped through several security check posts by carrying their guns in a coffin covered with white clothe. When they got to Shehu street, they immediately brought out their guns from the coffin and began shooting sporadically; they continued shooting until they ran out of ammunition. Then some courageous youth rounded them up and handed them over to the soldiers, who shot them dead as they attempted to escape,” a witness, Sheriff Aji, told PREMIUM TIMES.
A bereaved relative, who did not want his name mentioned for security reasons, said “among the 13 persons shot dead by Boko Haram on Friday, were two family members of my late aunt, ‘Hajia Ummu, whose aged mother got killed.”
PREMIUM TIMES reporter also saw corpses of the eight Boko Haram gunmen still laying unattended to as soldiers have of recent stopped taking them to the morgue.
Already, in Maiduguri, young men who are apparently fed up with the protracted insurgency have formed a voluntary vigilante group allegedly with the blessing of the JTF soldiers, and have been going street by street to fish out known Boko Haram members and hand them over to the military.
It was in apparent reaction to this development that the angry Boko Haram gunmen concealed their arms in a coffin behind a pick up van, and set out on a revenge mission to attack the vigilante youth, leading to the death of the 13 people.