Thursday, March 5, 2015 6:53 pm
Boko Haram gunmen killed 68 people, including many children, in a massacre in the northeast Nigerian village of Njaba in Borno state, two witnesses and two vigilantes said on Thursday.
Heavily armed militants stormed the village in Borno state on Tuesday “from all directions”, said Falmata Bisika, 62, who escaped to the state capital Maiduguri where she spoke to reporters.
The report of the massacre in Njaba, coincided with another report that the insurgents were massing forces in Gwoza, said to be the headquarters of the troubled Islamic Caliphate.
Just as they killed in Njaba, fleeing residents of Gwoza also reported gruesome killings of the elderly and teenagers.
A female resident who fled Gwoza on Tuesday and requested anonymity said the insurgents rounded up elderly men who were studying the Koran outside the home of a local cleric.
The men were later executed in front of their wives, the witness told AFP from Yola, capital of neighbouring Adamawa state.
“The Boko Haram men brought out brand new guns from cartons, tested them and shot dead all the men who they forced to lie face down,” she said.
Some of these details were supported by Senator Ali Ndume, who also confirmed the large build-up of insurgents in Gwoza.
“Boko Haram insurgents have in recent days been converging in Gwoza where they killed many male residents and chased women and children out of the town,” said Ndume.
Falmata Bisika, an escaped resident of Njaba, said she lost four of her grandchildren to the rampaging terrorists : “The terrorists were armed to the teeth…It is very unlikely (that) I will ever go back.”
Mimuni Haruna, 42, said he hid in a silo at the back of his house during the prolonged attack before running to Maiduguri, roughly 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of Njaba.
“I participated in the counting of dead bodies. Sixty-eight people were killed,” Haruna said. “Most of the houses in our village have been destroyed.”
Vigilante leader Ali Mulai said the attack began at about 5:00 am (0400 GMT).
“The victims included boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 19 and other older residents who were either shot dead or slaughtered,” he said.
Another vigilante whose is from Njaba confirmed the attack and said his father was among those killed.
Requesting anonymity, he said he believed the assault was launched from Gwoza, where Boko Haram is believed to be amassing fighters.
Gwoza is also the Borno town where Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau first proclaimed the existence of a caliphate inside Nigeria.