“These insurgents are gradually taking over most of the villages in that neighbourhood.”
Gunmen believed to be members of the Boko Haram on Wednesday morning attacked the town of Ngurmuji in Marte Local Government Area killing 40 people, a local security official has said.
Attacks on villages outside of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have increased in the past few months leading to death of hundreds of people and destruction of property.
Apart from the Wednesday attack on Ngurmuji, gunmen also opened fire on travelers at Awulari, along the Maiduguri-Bama road, killing eight of them.
A spokesperson of the local vigilante, Muhammed Gava, who confirmed the incident on behalf of the state commander of Nigeria Vigilante Group, Adamsi Tar, told journalists that “the attackers of Ngurmuji went to the village in the morning, shortly after the morning prayers and began to open fire on the villagers.”
“More than 40 were killed, and several others who escaped made it to Kirenowa Village with serious injuries. Unfortunately two amongst the injured victims later died in Kirenowa as a result of excessive loss of blood and they were buried in Kirenowa today (Wednesday)”.
The official said the attack at Awulari in which 8 persons were killed took place around 8:30 a.m. when “the gunmen laid ambush and opened fire on the approaching vehicle.”
“The road to Gwoza from Maiduguri is now more than a dead trap,” he said. “You can almost predict that an attack would happen there every day.”
The vigilante spokesperson expressed concern that the Boko Haram was gradually taking over villages outside the state capital.
“These insurgents are gradually taking over most of the villages in that neighbourhood”, said the vigilante operative. “The road to Damboa too, from Maiduguri, is another no-go area, even for the military.
“Places like Talasla, Ajigin, Mangozam, Abima, Abulam, Keloruwa; all within Damboa Local Government Area have now been taken over by the Boko Haram gunmen”.
The Nigerian military is yet to comment on the Wednesday attacks and has virtually stopped responding to the daily attacks by the Boko Haram.
The group has killed over 12,000 people since its insurgency began in 2009 and despite a state of emergency imposed on Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa in May 2013, has continued to attack communities at will.