Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) – Boko Haram carried out a fresh wave of
massacres in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, locals said, killing nearly
200 people in 48 hours of violence President Muhammadu Buhari blasted
as “inhuman and barbaric”.
The militants have staged multiple attacks across restive Borno state
since Wednesday, gunning down worshippers at evening Ramadan
prayers, shooting women in their homes, and dragging men from their
beds in the dead of night.
A young female suicide bomber also killed 12 worshippers when she
blew herself up in a mosque in Borno. While there was no immediate
claim of responsibility, Boko Haram has used both men and young
women and girls as human bombs in the past.
And as night fell, Nigerian troops battled “hordes of Boko Haram
gunmen” who seemed set on attacking the state capital Maiduguri, the
birthplace of the extremist Islamist movement.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the latest wave of
killings… describing them as most inhuman and barbaric,” the
presidency said in a statement.
The bloodshed is the worst since Buhari came to power in May, vowing
to root out the insurgency that has claimed more than 15,000 lives.
“They killed six people in the village and they chased the inhabitants into
the bush, firing at them… 25 people were killed in the bush,” he said.
Another survivor, Adamu Bulus, confirmed 31 people had been
It was the fourth time that Boko Haram had attacked the village in the
past year, local youth worker Sunday Wabba told AFP, describing how
they “killed everyone on sight”.
On Friday, fresh details of the killings emerged from a resident of
Kukawa, near lake Chad, the worst-affected village.
Baana Kole told AFP that he and others had managed to escape into the
bush where they spent the night, before returning to bury the dead, only
to find that the militants had laid mines everywhere.
“Some residents who hid in trees saw them planting the mines and
alerted us when we returned to the village and started burying our dead,”
“So many dead bodies are still in Kukawa lying unattended. We had to
abandon them because we could not carry them with us.”
“The bomber was a girl aged around 15 who was seen around the mosque
when worshippers were preparing for the afternoon prayers,” Danlami
Ajaokuta, a vigilante assisting the military against Boko Haram, told
“People asked her to leave because she had no business there and they
were not comfortable with her in view of the spate of suicide attacks by
female Boko Haram members.
“She made to leave but while the people were inside the mosque for the
prayers she ran from a distance into the mosque and blew herself up,” he
added — an account corroborated by resident Gajimi Mala.
– Boko Haram has ‘re-grouped’ –
They “picked 13 men from selected homes and took them to the Eid
prayer ground outside the village where they opened fire on them,”
resident Baballe Mohammed said, adding 11 died and two managed to
He and another resident said the victims had been targeted because they
had fled their home village after Boko Haram tried to force them to join
Then on Friday evening, local vigilantes said Nigerian troops were
battling Boko Haram fighters in Zabarmari village, only 10 kilometres
(six miles) from Maiduguri, trying to prevent an apparent rebel attempt
to enter the city.
With heavy gunfire and more than 10 loud explosions reported, local
resident Zanna Shehuri told AFP, “Boko Haram are now in Zabarmari
trying to come into Maiduguri but are facing stiff resistance from
The armed group has intensified its campaign of violence since Buhari
came to power on May 29, launching raids, explosions and suicide
attacks that have claimed over 450 lives.
The spike in violence has sparked concern that earlier victories claimed
by the armies of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon in the region are
The four countries — all of which border Lake Chad, a focal point of
Boko Haram unrest — launched offensives against the militants early
this year as it became apparent that the armed group was making big
gains in Nigeria.
They managed to push the militants out of captured towns and villages,
but the recent attacks highlight that Boko Haram is not defeated.
A new regional fighting force comprising 8,700 troops from Nigeria,
Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin is due to deploy at the end of the