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General News of Friday, 10 March 2023


Borno: Boko Haram kills 35 fishermen

The photo used to illustrate the stoty The photo used to illustrate the stoty

More than 35 people have been killed by Boko Haram fighters in Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State.

The victims were reported to have gone on a fishing expedition when the attack happened.

Residents and families of the deceased have since called for more security in the area to save them from attacks by terrorists.

The incident was confirmed by the Borno State Government and the Dikwa Emirate Council who extended their condolences to the families of the deceased and prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured.

Multiple sources told the Daily Trust yesterday that the Boko Haram fighters had, on several occasions, warned the fishermen to stay away from their (terrorists’) “zones” to forestall backlash, but considering that they had to go out and look for what to eat, the locals had no option than to go for fishing and other endeavours.

On Wednesday, the assailants unleashed terror on the fishermen who went out in earnest in search of livelihood.

One of the fishermen, who escaped the attack, said the terrorists surrounded them near the riverbanks and opened fire on them, killing at least 35 people and injuring some; while many others were missing.

Another survivor told our correspondent that the incident occurred at Mukdolo under Ngala Local Government bordering Dikwa village, adding that “unfortunately all the victims were IDPs from Dikwa town.”

He said the terrorists “rode on motorbikes from a nearby forest and surrounded us at riverbanks and they said they have warned us to stay away from there.

“They started shooting at all angles and only three of us made it back to Dikwa. I can tell you more than 35 people were killed. As I speak, many are yet to return to Dikwa town,” he said.

Quoting sources, the AFP news agency gave a higher figure, saying that a dozen militants opened fire on the fishermen outside Guggo village, 18 kilometres (12 miles) from the town of Dikwa.

“We recovered 37 bodies last night along the river bank and nearby bushes,” one of the sources, Babakura Kolo, said.

“The figure is not exhaustive and the search for more bodies is ongoing in surrounding bushes,” he said.

The fishermen were sorting out their catch of the day on the bank of a river when they were ambushed. Some scampered for safety, said Umar Ari, who gave the same death toll.

“The terrorists pursued the fishermen as they tried to flee, shooting them dead but three managed to escape and alerted Dikwa about the attack,” Ari said.

It was not clear how many had gone out fishing that day, said a local resident, Abdullahi Kyari, who also gave the same toll.

Corroborating the account, Zagazola Makama, a counter-insurgency expert and security analyst in the Lake Chad region, said nine among the victims managed to flee and three sustained bullet wounds.

“They asked them to lie down. Thereafter, they used their fishing nets and wrapped them before they started torturing them. After they became unconscious, they opened fire on them, killing them instantly.

“The bodies of the 26 farmers were later recovered during search and rescue operation by troops who received the news from victims who fled the attack,” Makama added.

When contacted last night, the Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Musa Danmadami, said the victims could not have been IDPs as reported because they were supposed to be in a camp, not to go fishing, according to Daily Trust.

The senior military officer, however, promised to find out the details of the incident and get back to our correspondent. He was yet to do so at the time of filing this report.