65 Killed In Boko Haram Funeral Attack

Tragic scenes from the attack on a funeral by Boko Haram terrorists. Credit: AFP

 

An attack this weekend by Boko Haram fighters on a funeral in Maiduguri, Borno State, has left 65 people dead, almost triple the initial toll, a local official said Sunday.

Dozens more bodies were discovered following the assault Saturday by gunmen on a village close to the regional capital Maiduguri.

“It is 65 people dead and 10 injured,” local government chairman Muhammed Bulama said.

Bulama said more than 20 people died in the initial attack on a funeral gathering. Dozens more were killed as they tried to chase after the jihadists.

The leader of a local anti-Boko Haram militia confirmed the death toll, while giving a slightly different account of the attack.

Bunu Bukar Mustapha told newsmen that 23 people were killed as they returned from the funeral and “the remaining 42 were killed when they pursued the terrorists”.

READ ALSO: Two Feared Killed In Fresh Boko Haram Attack On Borno IDP Camp

At the scene houses which had been burnt in the attack could be seen. Relatives collected the bodies of those slain for burial.

Bulama said he thought the latest attack was in retaliation for the killing two weeks ago of 11 Boko Haram fighters by local residents when the jihadists approached their village. The residents also captured 10 automatic rifles.

Boko Haram fighters have repeatedly attacked the surrounding Nganzai district.

In September last year, the group killed eight people and stole livestock in two villages in the area after residents tried to stop them from taking their animals.

Boko Haram has waged a decade-long campaign of violence in northeast Nigeria that has killed around 27,000 people and displaced more than two million.

There are persistent attacks despite repeated claims from the Nigerian government that it has broken the insurgency.

The jihadists have splintered between the Boko Haram faction loyal to historic leader Abubakar Shekau and an affiliate of the Islamic State group.

Shekau’s group tends to hit softer targets including civilians, while the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) has since last year ratcheted up its campaign against the Nigerian military.

In June, 30 people were killed by a triple suicide bombing targeting football fans in Konduga, 38 kilometres (24 miles) from Maiduguri. The attack had the hallmarks of Shekau’s faction.

Late Thursday, the group attacked a camp for displaced people outside the state capital, killing two residents and looting food supplies after burning a nearby military base.

Communities have increasingly turned to self-defence groups to protect themselves against the jihadist attacks.

Vigilantes and local hunters have taken up arms to safeguard local residents amid widespread complaints that the military does not do enough to defend them.

Bauchi Blast: Striking Health Workers Agree To Offer Skeletal Services

Bauchi BlastThe Public Relations Officer of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Abdullahi Isa Jajo, has said that due to the critical situation on ground after the Bauchi bomb explosion, striking health workers at the hospitals have agreed to offer skeletal services.

The decision was reached after several meetings with the striking members of the union on the need to reduce the pressure on the medical doctors.

The number of people dead in the bomb explosion in Azare Bauchi State has risen to 31, while 30 other victims have been receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Centre, Azare.

The Bauchi blast, had initially left 5 dead after a vehicle loaded with explosive devices went off in Azare Motor Park, Bauchi State, Nigeria’s north-eastern region.

Mr Abdullahi Isa also revealed that the state had been receiving patients from neighbouring Yobe State, among victims of the bomb blast which occurred in Potiskum, killing many students and leaving several others injured.

The blasts came after the Federal Government had announced a ceasefire deal with the Boko Haram sect, which it said would include the release of the girls kidnapped from the secondary school in Chibok.

Okorocha Urges Nigerians To Unite In The Fight Against Terror

OkorochaThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has called on all Nigerians irrespective of their political and religious affiliations to come together and fight terrorism in the country.

The Governor stated this while commissioning the new office complex built for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Owerri the Imo state capital.

He also said the issue of security should not be left in the hands of the security operatives, insisting that “fighting terrorism is a collective fight that all Nigerians must engage in”, urging  all security operatives to remain steadfast and patriotic even amidst the security challenges facing the country.

The Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Ade Abolurin, assured the people of the state of NSCDC’s commitment and support to tackle insecurity and protection of lives and property in the state.

He also enjoined other security agencies at the federal and state levels to cooperate with the NSCDC to tackle security challenges.

The Imo State governor, while addressing the gathering, expressed sadness over the spate of terrorism and insecurity challenges facing the nation.