Suspected Boko Haram gunmen shot dead at least 42 people in two separate attacks in northeast Nigeria, with no let-up in sight to the Islamist group’s targeting of civilians.
The attacks in the remote villages of Debiro Hawul and Debiro Biu in Borno state on Monday and Tuesday came before at least 10 people were killed in a suicide attack in neighbouring Yobe.
The latest attacks saw some 30 militant fighters storm Debiro Biu on Monday and Debiro Hawul the following day, with reports taking time to emerge because of the villages’ remote location. “We received reports of attacks by suspected Boko Haram gunmen on the two villages, in which 42 deaths were recorded,” one police officer told AFP from the town of Biu.
Umaru Markus, who fled Debiro Hawul, said the attacks were carried out by some 30 Islamists in a convoy of pick-up trucks and motorcycles. The rebels shot dead their victims after looting homes and shops and setting fire to buildings, he added.
“They came around 12:30 am and opened fire on the village, which sent people scampering into the bush to escape the attack,” he said. “The gunmen slaughtered 22 people who were not fast enough in fleeing and went about looting homes, grains silos and drug stores.” The attack on Debiro Biu left 20 people dead, he said. “It never occurred to us we would be the next target,” he added.