The Boko Haram leader declares war against youths in Borno, Yobe.
Residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said suspected members of Boko Haram on Monday killed 22 persons in separate attacks. They said the terrorists were on a revenge mission against youth vigilante groups that have been hunting them.
The gunmen on Monday at about 3 p.m. attacked a secondary school, Ansarudeen Private School, Maiduguri, and opened fire on students writing their final year exams. Nine students were killed, while several others were seriously injured in the attack, residents of the area said.
The incident occurs less than 24 hours after gunmen attacked a school in neighbouring Yobe State, killing seven students and two teachers. Borno and Yobe, alongside Adamawa, are under emergency rule with a massive deployment of soldiers to the states.
In another incident in Borno on Monday, the gunmen attacked a group of fishermen on the banks of the Alau River, on the outskirts of Maiduguri, killing 13 of them.
Some of the witness who were spared by the attackers said most of those killed at the river bank were relatives of the youth vigilante group currently hunting Boko Haram members.
“I was lucky to be left out because I am not a resident of Gwange or Hausari where the Civilian-JTF (the youth vigilante) came from,” said a fisherman, who pleaded anonymity for security reasons.
A resident of Bulumkutu in Maiduguri, Inuwa Umoru, said a prominent fish merchant, Garba Garus, was among the 13 killed.
“We were busy fishing at Alau River when suddenly a gang of gunmen appeared from nowhere, rounded us up and asked all those who are residents of Husari and Gwange to fall on one side. After sorting us out, they said, “Your children brought this fate upon you; they are busy catching our members and handing them to soldiers to be killed.”
“They then shot them dead and asked the remaining of us to run for our lives and take the message to the youth vigilante,” he narrated.
A top security official in the state, who pleaded anonymity, confirmed the attacks but declined further comments on the number of casualties.
The youth vigilante have been commended by President Goodluck Jonathan and the Nigerian military for helping in the battle against the terrorists.
The JTF spokesman in Borno, Sagir Musa, could not be reached on telephone for official reactions to the incidents.