By Rabiu Sani
Boko Haram insurgents have killed 13 people and sacked two villages overnight in the restive town of Konduga in Borno, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, the Acting General Officer Commanding of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, confirmed the attack on Thursday in Maiduguri.
Biu said, however, that troops had risen to the occasion and had repelled the invaders, who had repeatedly attacked communities in the Konduga Local Government Area over the years.
He disclosed that he had visited the attacked communities, Bularin and Kofa, including camps in the communities, housing thousands of displaced people.
“I was there. We recovered one dead body and saw burnt houses. Troops have been following up on the attackers,” said Biu.
Alfred Audu, a member of a militia, known as Civilian Joint Task Force, who claimed he was on duty at the time of the attack, said the insurgents engaged troops in a bid to force their way into the communities.
Audu said the insurgents were pushed back when fighter planes were deployed to confront the invaders.
Another eye-witness, who gave his name simply as Alhaji Modu, said that hundreds of the insurgents on trucks with mounted guns and motorcycles, attacked the communities at about 7:45 p.m.
Modu said the insurgents launched rocket attacks and forced their way into the IDP camps and also attacked homes with ferocious fire.
He said that nine people were killed at Bularin IDP Camp and three others in the Kofa IDP Camp.
“An Islamic cleric together with his wife and three children were burnt to death when the insurgents sacked their home at Bularin IDP Camp.
“They burnt down the village market, shops, houses, animals and vehicles. Many people died in the attack while others are still missing.
“Bularin village was razed and several tents in the camp destroyed. Many people were displaced in the attack,” Modu said.
Boko Haram, which also operates in Cameroon, Chad and Niger has persistently attacked communities in northern Nigeria, especially the country’s vast northeast.
The Federal Government has however, said that the insurgents have been decimated, although the group has been packing deadly punches over the years.
Boko Haram launched its deadly campaign in 2009, vowing to enthrone a strict Islamic code in Africa’s most populous nation.