MAIDUGURI: Hundreds of people are feared dead in a suspected Boko Haram attack on four villages in northeast Nigeria, in the latest upsurge in violence claiming increasing numbers of civilian lives.
Some community leaders put the death toll from the Tuesday attacks in the Gwoza district of Borno state as high as 400 to 500, although there was no independent verification because of poor communications in the remote area.
If confirmed, the attacks in the villages of Goshe, Attagara, Agapalwa and Aganjara would be among the deadliest in the Islamists’ five-year insurgency and top the more than 300 who were killed on May 5 in nearby Gamboru Ngala.
“The killings are massive but nobody can give a toll for now because nobody has been able to go to that place because the insurgents are still there. They have taken over the whole area,” lawmaker Peter Biye said.
“There are bodies littered over the whole area and people have fled,” added Biye, who represents Gwoza in Nigeria’s lower chamber of parliament, the House of Representatives.
Another 45 people were killed when suspected Boko Haram gunmen pretending to be itinerant preachers opened fire on a crowd in the village of Barderi near the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, on Wednesday evening.
A separate attack was reported on Thursday in the town of Madagali, just 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) by road from Gwoza in Adamawa state.
Gunmen razed a Roman Catholic church and torched a local government office after firing at troops manning a nearby checkpoint, said the chairman of the local government in the town, Maina Ularamu. No deaths had been confirmed. AFP