BOKO Haram has stepped up its campaign of terror across northeastern Nigeria killing about 35 people over the last 48 hours and hoisting its flags over several border villages daring the government to venture into its strongholds. Yesterday, in separate attacks, the terrorist sect murdered 35 persons including 14 soldiers, 11 policemen and 10 civilians in attacks on Buni Yadi in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State and Chinene town in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State. Among their victims was Superintendent Hassan Thlama, the divisional police officer of Bunu Yadi Police Division.
During the audacious and brazen attack on Buni Yadi, the palaces of the emir and a district head, a police station and some military posts were completely destroyed. In the similarly vicious attack on Chinene village, a border community with Cameroon and about 130 kilometres from Maiduguri, two Churches, shops and residential houses were set ablaze.
Buni Yadi, which is about 55 kilometres south of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, had witnessed several brutal attacks recently, particularly the military onslaught on Federal Government College Buni Yadi, in which 55 students were murdered while sleeping in their dormitories. On Monday, the town was attacked again, with Boko Haram fighters arriving at about 5pm in a convoy of Hilux buses. Wearing military camouflage uniforms and armed with improvised explosive devices, petrol bombs and rocket-propelled launchers, they unleashed a four hour reign of terror. Specifically targeting security formations, government structures including the local Magistrate Court was totally destroyed.
One Damaturu security source said: “The gunmen took all the security operatives in Buni Yadi unawares and wreaked havoc on mostly policemen and soldiers. Apart from 11 policemen and 14 soldiers killed, two persons suspected to be civilians, who were caught up in the crossfire, also lost their lives.” It is believed that Boko Haram only came for security operatives as they did not attack residents and the civilians who died might have been hit by stray bullets. Before burning down the emir and district heads’ palaces, Boko Haram first asked the residents to leave to avoid civilian casualties. In Chinene, at least eight people were killed when Boko Haram attacked on motorcycles armed with AK47 rifles. They stormed the Chikidr Joghode Kaghum community and hoisted their flags in Ashigashiya ward and other hilly villages bordering Cameroon.