19 farmers reported killed as Boko Haram invades Borno village

Boko Haram members

One of the survivors narrated how the attack occurred

The residents of the farming village of Alau, 7km South of Maiduguri, Borno State, said on Monday that they buried 19 vegetable farmers killed by Boko Haram gunmen during a late night attack on Sunday.

The incident came barely 24 hours after PREMIUM TIMES reported a similar attack that claimed 15 villagers last week at the border town of Gashigar.

A security official, who preferred not to be named to save his job, confirmed the incident to reporters. He expressed worry that villagers in remote and isolated places often fall victims to such attacks.

In this fresh attack, residents said the gunmen invaded the village at about 10 p.m. shooting sporadically and setting their homes (mostly thatched) ablaze.

“We have lost 19 people during the attack. We buried 17 at noon but we found two bodies later in the bush; we just finished their burial,” a local farmer, who did not want to named for security reasons, said.

The farmer also narrated how the incident occurred.

“They came in at about 10 p.m. yesterday (Sunday). They were driving six pickup vans filled with young men chanting “Allahu akbar” (God is great). Others were on motorcycles. Those of us who heard their arrival earlier were able to escape but several of our colleagues who were already asleep couldn’t make it before the gunmen caught them and shot at them. They burnt over a hundred houses, and left with ten vehicles belonging to our people. Several women and children were found seriously injured. After we had buried our killed colleagues, we had to flee the village because we cannot risk being attacked again. Our food stores have been looted away by the gunmen too,” he said.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that other farmers in nearby villages also fled their homes as they feared more attacks from Boko Haram.

The Borno State Police Public Relations Officer, Gideon Jibrin, said he was not aware of the incident but promised to furnish journalists with information as soon as he had some.

Attacks like Sunday’s still happen in Borno despite the military presence in the state which, like Adamawa and Yobe, is under emergency rule.

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