NO fewer that 20 persons, including 12 terror suspects, were killed last week during a confrontation between members of a vigilance group in Ngulde in Borno State and a band of suspected Boko Haram militants in a convoy of vehicles and motorcycles, who burst into the village by noon.
Ngulde is 178 kilometres south of Maiduguri and located between Chibok and Askira towns. The insurgents, according to the leader of the vigilance group, Thangwa Maksa, also set ablaze several houses and shops before fleeing towards the Sambisa Forest early Thursday.
“All the telecom masts were destroyed by the insurgents as they fled this forest, and that makes it very difficult for us in villages to communicate,” Maksa said in a telephone interview in Maiduguri at the weekend.
“Wednesday’s attack was a reprisal by insurgents because last Sunday our members killed 15 terror suspects and recovered an AK 47 rifle and Toyota Hilux vehicles.”
In the first quarter of last year, he added, the gunmen also attacked Ngulde, where they torched a police outpost, but “last Wednesday’s clash was devastating with the loss of many lives and property.
“Our people now have to flee for safety, as there are no security personnel or military to protect us apart from the local vigilante patrols of this farming community.
Our village came under fierce attacks when some terrorists armed with AK 47 rifles, Improvised Explosive Devices and petrol bombs destroyed many lives and property.
“As I speak to you now, most of our people, including aged parents, have fled on Thursday as the terrorists have vowed to come back and sack the entire village. Our people returned on Thursday to bury their dead, according to their religions.”
According to him, since the incident, no security operative has been deployed to the village to confront the terrorists. More so, he disclosed that “the terrorists killed many of our people, including an 80-year-old man, injured several other villagers and looted foodstuff and livestock before they fled towards the Sambisa Forest.
” Confirming the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, however, the Borno State Police Command said it was yet to receive a report on the Ngulde village attack, while a police source said that Wednesday’s attack was the third similar incident in the affected village, which is on the fringe of Sambisa Forest.