Hundreds of residents of Dalori, a suburban settlement 5km on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have fled their homes as Boko Haram insurgents attacked on Saturday night, residents said.
Many are said to have been killed and injured by the insurgents who took the quiet village by surprise at about 7pm.
“The whole village has been set on fire,” said Tijjani Ali, a Maiduguri resident who lamented that soldiers manning the south-eastern gate of Maiduguri along Bama road were preventing fleeing residents from entering the city.
The spokesman of the Nigerian Army in the city, Colonel Mustapha Anka, confirmed the attack but declined details on casualty likely to have been incurred in the attack.
A local vigilante official, Gava Abbas, said, “It isn’t a good day for us today; the whole town is burnt down and many are feared killed, but my colleague who is also trapped outside Maiduguri said he can’t give details immediately.”
Soldiers, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, are preventing the displaced villagers from gaining entrance to Maiduguri because they fear Boko Haram might be using the attack to sneak in suicide bombers.
Boko Haram have of recent resort to using attacks from the outskirts of Maiduguri city to create some detour to enable suicide bombers sneak into the city to attack populated residential areas.
Despite these attacks, the Nigerian government insists Boko Haram has been incapacitated.