Not less than 26 people were feared killed and several others injured Monday in a suspected Boko Haram attack at the Madagali area of Adamawa state.
Similarly, the insurgents also invaded a military base in Borno state, killing five Nigerian soldiers.
It was gathered that the gunmen rode on motorcycles in large numbers into Kudakaya village in Madagali at about 7 p.m.
Police spokesperson in the state, Othman Abubakar, confirmed the attack, saying, “I was briefed that Boko Haram insurgents have attacked the village. I am yet to get the casualty figures, but security operatives have been deployed and we are on the top of the situation.”
It is one of the series of attacks witnessed in the area in recent times.
On Madagali attack, a local who craved anonymity, said he spotted 26 corpses and several injured persons.
A former Chairman of Madagali local government, Abawu Ularamu, lent credence to the vigilante’s account.
“They burnt several shops and many homes. They also stole food,” Ularamu told PREMIUM TIMES.
‘’We are living in an atmosphere of despair and agony. Over 20 were killed and many injured. There is no doubt the attackers came from Sambisa. We experience such periodic attacks from Boko Haram, who usually look for food.
“Already residents are fleeing for fear of that they (Boko Haram) are not far away from us and they may strike again.”
The insurgents had in the last week attacked three villages. On their way from one of the attacks, they ran into a group of vigilantes on patrol in Kuda village, who engaged them in a shoot-out, killing two of the attackers.”
Adamawa was said to have been cleared of Boko Haram in late 2015, after they rampaged across the northeast, seizing towns and territory.
But attacks have continued in the northern part of the state, particularly around Madagali, which borders Borno state and the militants’ Sambisa Forest stronghold.
The insurgency began in 2009 and has killed at least 20,000 people and made more than 2.6 million others homeless.
Five soldiers killed
At least five Nigerian soldiers were feared killed and dozens more missing after Boko Haram fighters invaded a Nigerian military base in Borno state.
The attack on April 26 occurred at a forward operating base in Mararrabar Kimba, an agrarian community roughly 130 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. The base was manned by the Nigerian Army 254 Task Force Battalion under the 25 Task Force Brigade, a crucial outpost in the ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’.
At least eight soldiers were gravely wounded and heavy military hardware carted away in the attack, a military source told PREMIUM TIMES.
‘Faulty weapons, combat trucks’
The soldiers put up resistance at the earliest stage of the attack, but most later fled into the bush due to faulty weapons and combat trucks, sources said.
The number of missing troops could not be established as of Tuesday morning, but a military source estimated dozens.
It was also unclear whether some of the troops had returned to base, but a search and rescue team had been activated, sources also said.
All the officers killed or wounded in action were evacuated to a military medical facility in Maiduguri on April 27.
“Troops put on heavy resistance but were overpowered by faulty equipment and vehicle breakdowns,” another senior military source told PREMIUM TIMES of the incident.
The officials declined to be identified because the military was yet to publicly confirm the attack.
The insurgents entered the base in a convoy of 15 gun trucks, officials said.
They left with military trucks, binoculars, grenades, assault rifles and ammunition, sources said.
The spokespersons for the Nigerian Army and Defence Headquarters did not answer telephone calls seeking comments Tuesday morning. But a public relation official for the army said the military top brass “was still studying the attack’s aftermath.”
The attack came as the military was celebrating repeated successes against the insurgents.
Scores of Boko Haram fighters had been reportedly killed amidst a military push to drive them out of their remaining strongholds and sleeper cells across Nigeria’s North-east.