Boko Haram insurgents have killed 13 people and sacked two villages overnight in the restive town of Konduga in Borno State, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. The Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, confirmed the attack yesterday in Maiduguri, the state capital. Biu said troops repelled the invaders, who he said had repeatedly attacked communities in Konduga Local Government Area for years. The GOC visited the attacked communities, Bularin and Kofa, including camps in the communities, housing thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs). “I was there. We recovered one body and saw burnt houses. Troops have been following up on the attackers,” Biu said. A member of a militia, known as Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), Alfred Audu, who claimed he was on duty at the time of the attack, said the insurgents engaged troops in a bid to force their way into the communities. Audu said the insurgents were pushed back when fighter planes were deployed to confront the invaders. Another eyewitness, who gave his name simply as Alhaji Modu, said hundreds of the insurgents on trucks with mounted guns and motorcycles attacked the communities at 7.45 p.m. Modu said the insurgents launched rocket attacks and forced their way into the IDP camps and attacked homes with ferocious fire. The eyewitness said nine people were killed at Bularin IDP Camp and three others in the Kofa IDP Camp. “An Islamic cleric, together with his wife and three children, were burnt to death when the insurgents sacked their home at Bularin IDP Camp. “They burnt down the village market, shops, houses, animals and vehicles. Many people died in the attack while others are still missing. “Bularin village was razed and several tents in the camp were destroyed. Many people were displaced in the attack,” Modu said. Boko Haram, which also operates in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, has persistently attacked communities in northern Nigeria, especially the country’s vast northeast. The Federal Government has said the insurgents have been decimated, although the group has been packing deadly punches over the years. Boko Haram launched its deadly campaign in 2009, vowing to enthrone a strict Islamic code in Africa’s most populous nation.
By: Anne Clement Bassey