Boko Haram gunmen on Wednesday night killed one person and burnt down an entire village, during an attack on Mammanti, a community located just outside Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to journalists in the smoke-filled village on Thursday morning, said the attackers arrived the village at about 11 p.m. and began to shoot sporadically.
The gunmen who rode bicycles were said to have immediately torched houses, mostly built of thatch roofs and walls.
Some of the villagers who had retired to their beds earlier, due to the cold of the early harmattan, said it was the sound of gunshots that saved them from being roasted alive.
“We were jolted out of our bedrooms by the sound of the gun to see that half of the village is on fire,” said Muhammed Mammanti, a ward head in the attacked community.
He said the gunmen also looted several barns and pens where they made away with food items.
In the village, our reporter saw chatted remains of looted grain storage as well as carcasses of roasted animals killed in the fire set by the gunmen.
Women and children were seen digging out popped grains buried by the burnt debris of their charred homes.
At the Eastern flank of the attacked village, a small crowd of mourners gathered to prepare the corpse of a 25 years old man, Alhassan Kwali, who was the only victim that lost his life.
“His name is Alhassan Kwali, an operative of the Civilian-JTF who was killed during the attack,” said Mr. Mammanti.
“We all fled and escaped being killed, but suddenly Alhassan remembered that his livestock were still tethered inside his compound, so he decided to go back to free them.
“We all begged him not to go back, but he said he would be fine. He never came out until we found his corpse near his home. He was shot and his livestock were all dead – killed by the fire.”
Also burnt were two cars parked in the palace of the district head, whose home was also completely burnt.
The attack is the latest in a series of daring onslaughts that the Boko Haram have been carrying out lately around the city of Maiduguri.
Last week Saturday, residents of Juddumri, a suburb of Maiduguri, located right behind Federal High Court complex, flooded the main streets of the state capital as they fled a late evening attack by Boko Haram.
The military and the police are yet to comment on Wednesday’s attack.