Nigeria, Maiduguri: Yesterday, a attack in northeastern Nigerian village Maiduguri, about 50 people were killed and many others wounded when Boko Haram fighters armed with guns and explosives attacked, medics and local residents said. It was the third deadly attack to hit Nigeria’s restive northeast since Wednesday, after suicide bombers killed at least 24 people in two separate attacks on towns to the south.
Nigeria’s army said the gunmen attacked Dalori just outside the northern city of Maiduguri late on Saturday, burning down the village and sending residents fleeing into the bush. The attack was swiftly condemned by the European Union, which said it was committed to supporting regional African states in the fight against such extremist groups.
Regional health officials said they were still counting the victims, but gave an interim toll of 46 dead.
The head of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for northeast Nigeria, Mohammed Kanar said, “we are still working on the actual death toll. The bodies were collected by different teams and we are going round the hospitals collating the number of bodies taken there”. “At the moment we have over 46 dead and 35 injured… We need to wait till tomorrow to get an exact toll.”
Residents and an aid worker said at least 50 people were killed in the assault which took place after evening prayers in the mostly Muslim region. Malam Masa Dalori, a community leader, told AFP, “we were seated outside our home shortly after the Isha prayer when we heard gunshots and within a few minutes the invaders had arrived”.
Army spokesman Colonel Mustapha Anka said the assailants had opened fire after arriving in the village on motorbikes and in two cars and had then begun torching homes. Three female suicide bombers who initially tried to mingle with the villagers “were intercepted then blew themselves up,” he said. The assailants also tried to penetrate a camp for people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency situated just outside the village, but were repelled by troops, he said.