Suspected Boko Haram members kill 44 in Borno village

File: Baga after a Boko Haram attack

About 50 armed men stormed the village on Tuesday.

At least 44 persons were killed Tuesday in a village near Baga Village of Kukawa Local Government Area of Borno State, emergency health workers said.

Baga was the scene of an April attack that led to the death of about 200 people, mostly civilians, with many of them believed to have been killed when soldiers allegedly set hundreds of houses on fire in retaliation at the killing of soldiers by suspected Boko Haram members.

An official of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, said officials of the agency counted at least 44 corpses in Tuesday’s attack by suspected members of the Boko Haram.

Residents told aide workers who visited the troubled area that about 50 armed men stormed their village and embarked on a killing spree using knives.

“Those who did not die were left with their eyes gorged out with knives, and several others seriously injured,” said the NEMA official, who doesn’t want to be quoted as he was not authorized to speak to the press yet.

“Many people were displaced because the Boko Haram set their houses ablaze, though we cannot say how many. We are going to Baga village on Saturday to set up camps for the displaced,” the official added.

“As I am speaking to you now, Red cross officials and the Medicine Sans Frontier are attending to the injured victims. The village has been deserted and the people are now taking refuge at the Baga central primary school.”

Journalists have been unable to confirm the incident since Wednesday due to lack of communication networks, which has been grounded in the state in the last three months.

The spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Sagir Musa, could also not be contacted.

The Media Coordinator of the Multi National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, in Baga, Haruna Sani, told journalists in response to an email sent to him seeking confirmation of the incident that he had no knowledge of the attack, as he was away from his base.

“I am right now in Adamawa State for an assignment and due to the network problem, I have difficulty in reaching my Headquarters. I suggest you find out from Defense Headquarters, may be they are in the picture of the incidence. Thanks for your effort,” he said.

But a security source, who doesn’t want to be quoted, as he is not allowed to speak to press, confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES.

“There was an attack on Tuesday in Baga that I am aware of but I have no detailed information on it because this is not under the purview of the JTF; it is the MNJTF that can speak on that,” the source said.

The Boko Haram has embarked on attacking softer targets outside Maiduguri after the vigilante (Civilian-JTF) joined forces with the JTF to apprehend them. The JTF recently announced the death of top leaders of the sect including that of its overall leader, Abubakar Shekau, who is believed to have died from gunshot wounds.

The terrorist are believed to use knives as gunshots often attract Civilian-JTF or soldiers to the scene. Many of such attacks on isolated villages and hamlets are reported by victims and residents, but verification has been difficult due to the state of emergency and network shutdown in the state; while security operatives often do not confirm the attacks.

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