“It seems they hid in the shops in order not be killed while fleeing, unfortunately, several explosives were thrown into the market”.
Survivors and rescue workers said on Wednesday that they had pulled out charred remains of people burnt en mass in various shops within the main Gamboru market in Borno State after Boko Haram gunmen had attacked the border town on Monday.
A resident of Gamboru, Abubakar Mustapha, who made it to Maiduguri said he could not stand the horror of seeing corpses of burnt persons huddled together in small shops where they ran into for refuge as Boko Haram terrorists waged a massive offensive on the residents.
“You know the market was cordoned off by soldiers since the day of the attack, nobody went near the market until today (Wednesday) and unfortunately, we found many dead bodies in destroyed shops. There are some Chadian and Cameroonian traders among them who hid in shops too; many of the people were burnt beyond recognition,” said the visibly traumatised man.
A security official confirmed this, and said the market massacre added up to the death toll that now stands at over a hundred on the attack on the border community between Nigeria and Cameroon.
A senator representing the Gamboru area in the National Assembly had put the death toll at over 300.
Mr. Abubakar added that “it seems they hid in the shops in order not be killed while fleeing, unfortunately, several explosives were thrown into the market”.
PREMIUM TIMES had gathered from sources in Gamboru, though not verified from security sources, that the insurgents were spotted in some villages around Gamboru few hours before they launched the attack, but the security operatives there did not respond to the villagers alert on time.
“When the security heard this, they mobilized together with civilian JTF and headed towards the area and that was when the assailants stormed the town from another direction and subdued the few security officials on ground before burning the town”, said another Gamboru resident who does not want to be named.
The Gamboru attack comes at a period world leaders have pledged to assist Nigeria find the over 200 teenage girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram in Chibok, Borno State.
The U.S., U.K., and China are among countries that have pledges assistance in human and support equipment in the search of the girls, kidnapped on April 14 from their dormitory at the Government Secondary School, Chibok.