Scores feared killed by soldiers in Maiduguri

JTF in the Niger Delta
JTF in the Niger Delta

The soldiers went on rampage following the attack on their colleagues which reportedly killed 6 of them.

Soldiers of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in Maiduguri went on rampage on Monday, killing scores of innocent civilians, residents say.

The soldiers are believed to have reacted to the killing of their colleagues as reported by PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.

Improvised explosives targeted at a vehicle of the JTF, on Monday morning, killed about six soldiers, multiple sources have said, though the JTF only admitted two injuries without commenting on deaths.

Following the explosion and killings along Lagos Street, soldiers in Maiduguri became wild and unleashed more terror than the terror they came to contain in the state, residents told PREMIUM TIMES.

Residents said the rampaging soldiers burnt shops, a shopping complex, cars, clinics, and houses; starting from the commercial Lagos Street Bridge up to Gwange junction and into the densely populated Gwange neighbourhoods.

Reports say many of the houses in the area were raided and some male occupants summarily executed.

A shop owner, who narrowly survived the raid and is currently with a gunshot wound at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, narrated his experience at the hands of the soldiers.

“I had just opened my shop when the explosion occurred, few minutes later soldiers came before we could run away. We (about 10) locked ourselves in my shop and when soldiers brought out fuel and started burning down the adjoining shops to mine. We ran out and soldiers opened fire on us.

“I was shot at the back and fell down. I pretended I was dead but not sure if the rest of the people with me also pretended dead or were actually dead,” the trader who did not want his name mentioned narrated.

He said everyone on the floor- both the dead and wounded- were picked up and thrown into the back of pick-up vans and ferried to the hospital.

A medical personnel at the UMTH confirmed the deposit of the corpse and the injured at the hospital.

“The corpses that came with the wounded shop owner are more than ten to our hospital and other corpses were brought,” she said. “Don’t forget more of the victims were either taken to the State Specialist hospital or the Ultra modern hospital.”

Some other residents who narrated their experience lamented the various atrocities committed by the JTF.

“Soldiers have killed more people each time there is a Boko Haram attack than the casualties from the attack” Musa Gwoza, a resident of the Lagos Street area said.

“Have you ever been to the military detention center at the Giwa military Barracks?” another resident, Bakaka Umar asked. “It is worse than what happens in Guantanamo bay.”

Mr. Umar alleged that torture, murder and extortion of family members of innocent prisoners were going on at the military detention centre, were suspected members of the insurgent group, Boko Haram, were held before being transferred out of the state. He said innocent suspected insurgents are released only after their families are extorted of money.

Several calls to the spokesperson of the JTF, Sagir Musa, were unanswered and not returned. The Director of Media at the Borno State Government House, Usman Ciroma, also did not pick his calls or respond to text messages.

Meanwhile, normalcy seems to have returned to the Maiduguri, Tuesday, as residents have continued with their daily activity in a town that has now gotten used to killings by either the Boko Haram or the soldiers.

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