The gunmen’s firepower were not matched by the soldiers
At least eight persons were killed and a major bridge destroyed in Yobe State when gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram attacked Katarko Village on Monday night, residents and a security official have said.
The gunmen, who came in large numbers, could not be matched by the soldiers at a check post not more than 300 meters away from the attacked village.
“They came at about 7:30 p.m.“, said Lawan Ali, a resident of Katarko who spoke from Buniyadi the headquarters of Gujba Local Government Area of the state, where he moved to after the attack.
“They stormed our village with some vehicles and many motorcycles, shooting and chanting Allahu Akbar (God is Great). Some of them could be mistaken for solders because of their dressing which is mostly like that of the soldiers’ khaki. The soldiers in Katarko had to flee after seeing the large number of the attackers”.
“After attacking the village and killing about eight persons and injuring some others, we later heard a thunderous explosion at the location of the bridge; we all fled into the bush. But in the morning, we later found out that the bridge had been destroyed with bombs”, said Mr. Lawan.
Residents said the absence of heavy rain meant the dry river under the bridge would not cause much hardship until the rains increase.
“But in the next few weeks to come, Katarko would be cut off and that part of Yobe State would no longer be accessible because the river will fill its bank and motorists may no longer be able to wade through the river”, said Mr. Lawan.
The attack on Katarko was the first despite its proximity to Sambisa area.
Abbas Gava, a member of the Nigerian vigilante group in Borno State, who also confirmed the incident, said he had communicated with his colleagues in Yobe State.
“They were about to bury the killed persons at the time I called to confirm the incident,” he told PREMIUM TIMES. “But this should worry us now because the tactical target on bridges means serious dangers to all of us in the future.”