by Adeola Balogun
Gunmen dressed in military fatigues and suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents engaged in a shooting spree which resulted in the deaths of 19 people near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon in Borno State.
An eyewitness who was able to escape the pandemonium said that the attackers who were brandishing automatic weapons had blocked the road near near the town of Logumani which was 30 kilometres from the border.
The gunmen reportedly arrived on motorcycles and began shooting and attacking motorists with machetes. The assailants reportedly burnt three trucks.
The Nation reports:
“We have recovered 19 dead bodies from the scene of the attack by Boko Haram gunmen,” Musa Abur, leader of a civilian vigilante group in the area told French News Agency (AFP).
“Five of the victims, who included two truck drivers and their assistants, were shot dead while the rest were slaughtered,” he said.
He said the gunmen had attacked the border town of Gamboru Ngala near Logumani late on Friday but were repelled by soldiers and local vigilantes.
A passenger who survived the attack gave a similar account.
“We were asked to get out of our vehicles and lie face down by nine men dressed as soldiers who blocked the road around 5:00am,” the man who gave his name as Buba told AFP.
“They shot dead five people and went about slaughtering 14 others before someone called them on the phone that soldiers were heading their way,” he said.
“They abandoned the rest of us and sped into the bush on their motorcycles,” added Buba who was shot in the leg.
The military authorities last night confirmed the attack.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, confirmed the attack last night.
The Army spokesman, however, gave the casualty figure as four. According to him, the insurgents mounted a roadblock at a border town and intercepted a truck conveying foodstuff. “They killed four people on the spot. Our men went after them and killed a couple of them. Our men are still going after some of them that are on the run. Apprehending them is just a matter of time,” Gen. Attahiru.