Security operatives in Gujba local government area of Yobe State Tuesday advised residents to flee for their lives as Boko Haram gunmen who had on Monday night bombed part of a major bridge there returned to attack them again.
LEADERSHIP’s Kareem Haruna reports that a bridge in a town called Katarko was partly bombed on Friday night and about eight people were killed during an attack by Boko Haram gunmen, whose number was said to have overwhelmed that of the soldiers there.
But, as the residents of Katarko, a village not far away from Gujba, returned to mourn their dead ones, the gunmen returned in full force and sacked both the villagers of Katarko and Gulani, who had to flee into the state capital Damaturu.
Gujba is about 45km away from Katarko, and the villagers from the latter community who had fled their homes to the former now had to take to their heels again as the gunmen returned.
Another fleeing resident, Rabiu Buni, who said he made it on foot through the bush path to Damaturu, told LEADERSHIP on phone that the terrorists had succeeded in bombing the bridge for the second time, which now caused the entire frame of the bridge to collapse.
“When they bombed the bridge on Monday night, it only destroyed one side, but they had to bomb it again when they returned this (Tuesday) afternoon,” he said.
The gunmen who came in about a dozen vehicles stormed the town about 3pm shooting and setting homes ablaze.
Malam Muhammed, a resident of Gujba, said he was very lucky to escape in his car with his family, but many others especially women and children might not be.
“It was a deadly return that they made today (Tuesday) after the initial attack on Monday; the entire village of Gujba is now deserted as everyone including women and children took to the bush; but the danger is that hardly will many of them make it to Damaturu safely because the bridge is bombed and the attacked village is being surrounded by water, which would make it difficult for women and children to wade through,” said Buni.
The influx of the internally displaced persons has so far caused serious tension in Damaturu town, as most of the IDPs were seen wandering helplessly in the streets without knowing anywhere to go.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the military had deployed earthmoving equipment to build emergency sand fortress along the outskirts of Damaturu towards Gujba, 28km away, where soldiers are now waiting to prevent the attackers from invading the state capital.
Military aircraft was hovering over the direction of the attacked village before dusk set in, but it was not certain if the soldiers had mobilised to engage the daring Boko Haram terrorists.
Efforts to get comments from both the police and the military operatives did not yield any result as those contacted declined comments.