150 drowned, shot dead fleeing Boko Haram attack


At least 150 people drowned in a river or were shot dead fleeing Boko Haram gunmen who raided a remote village in  Yobe State, local residents said on Tuesday.

Dozens of militants arrived on motorcycles and in a car on Thursday last week and opened fire, scattering terrified residents of Kukuwa-Gari.

“They opened fire instantly, which forced residents to flee. They shot a number of people. Unfortunately many residents who tried to flee plunged into the river which is full from the rain. Many drowned,” Modu Balumi, a resident of the village, told AFP.

“By our latest toll we have 150 people either shot dead or drowned in the attack. The gunmen deliberately killed a fisherman who tried to save drowning residents of the village.”

Balumi said the bodies of many of the drowned were picked out by locals several kilometres away.

News of the attack was slow to emerge due to militants having destroyed telecom masts around the village, around 50 kilometres from Yobe State capital Damaturu, since the insurgency began in 2009.

“Most residents, particularly women and children, ran towards the river in confusion,“ said Bukar Tijjani, another villager, who confirmed the death toll. “They were pursued by the gunmen who kept firing at them. In a frantic effort to escape, they jumped into the river, which was full to the brim.“

A local government official confirmed the attack but put the death toll much lower, at around 50.


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