Students in a government college in the North-east Nigerian state of Yobe had to run into the bush to avoid being abducted as gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents attacked their community on Monday night.
The village of Dapchi about 101km North-west of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, came under heavy attack as gunmen in six trucks reportedly invaded their village at about 7.00 p.m. shooting sporadically.
The attackers reportedly set many houses ablaze as the residents ran into the bushes.
A source who spoke to AP from a hiding place in the bush said he was not sure if the students were abducted or not.
“They came shortly after the late evening prayer and then began to shoot sporadically”, said the source who begged not to be named in the report.
“As we were trying to flee the village, we saw some of them coming away from the school gate. However, I can’t say if the girls all escaped for now.”
Another source who spoke from inside Dapchi Village said the attackers left immediately after they enquired about the presence of soldiers in the village.
“They came to ask some of us that could not flee if there are soldiers in the village and we told them ‘no’. Then they said , ‘we are only looking for soldiers’; afterwards they boarded their trucks and left.”
The Commissioner of Police, Yobe State command, Abdulmaliki Sunmonu, confirmed the attack.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria that security operatives have been mobilised to the village.
He said “at about 5.30 p.m. today, the suspected insurgents attacked Dapchi, headquarters of Bursari Local Government Area.
“The details are not immediately available, we are still collating the details including the casualties,” he said.
The commissioner said security operatives have been reinforced in the area to ensure total security.
Zanna Abatcha, chairman Bursari Local Government Area told NAN that the suspected insurgents have already left the town and more security operatives have been deployed to maintain security.
“The details are not known yet because it’s already night, we will get the comprehensive details tomorrow,” he said.