An old man and a child were reported dead, Thursday night, after motorcycle-riding Boko Haram gunmen attacked a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, security sources said.
The Dalori IDP camp, located near University of Maiduguri, came under attack by suspected Boko Haram fighters who broke in through the back perimeter fence at about 8 p.m.
Abba Aji, a top commander of the youth vigilante group known as Civilian-JTF, said the gunmen first attacked the soldiers’ station near the camp before they moved in, shooting sporadically.
“It happened a few minutes after 8 p.m. when they (Boko Haram) broke into the camp and killed two persons, an old woman a very little child,” he said.
He said despite the fact that the camp was well guarded by soldiers, the insurgents, who also broke into shops and stole food items, easily made their way in and left.
“It is really a very sad development that this is still happening,” he said.
Bello Danbatta, a security attache to the State Emergency Management Agency(SEMA) also confirmed the attack.
He said “it was an unfortunate incident but we thank God that not much damage has been done.”
He also confirmed that “a little child and an old man were killed.”
The attack sent panic around the university especially as soldiers manning the gates also responded with their guns.
The sporadic shooting forced some students and many residents living around the locations to flee into the town.
Hauwa Ibrahim, a female student, said she had to flee from the school campus against the warning of the security men at the gate.
“I had to call my uncle who rushed to the University gate to pick me and some of my friends,” she said.
“We could not take the risk of sleeping in my hostel because the sound of the shootings and what sounded like bombings seemed very close to our hostel,“ Ms Ibrahim said.
The police and the military are yet to issue statements on the attack.
The attack came a few hours to July 26, the date on which the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency started ten years ago.
Dalori camp is one of the largest of such facilities which have come under attacks in the past few years.
Thousands of lives have been lost and over seven million displaced since 2009 when Boko Haram picked up arms against the Nigerian government.
The group has indicated its intent to enforce Sharia rule in the country’s Northern region.