10 killed, church burnt in suspected Boko Haram attacks

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The militants attacked one village in reprisal after the villagers had managed to kill several militants two days earlier

LAGOS 

At least ten people were killed and a local church torched in separate attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno State, local sources have said. “When they came yesterday [Tuesday] around 3am, they killed ten people in our village and burnt down our homes,” Dauda Bulkachuwa, a resident of Amuda village in Borno’s Gwoza local government area, told Anadolu Agency by phone Wednesday morning. “I heard they burnt down Attagara

and Ngoshe, too,” he added, referring to two nearby villages. “They are taking us back to the stone age.” A military source said a fighter jet had been deployed from Yola in neighboring Adamawa State to repel the attack on Ngoshe. “But the terrorists had already left when the air force jet arrived to the place,” the source told AA, requesting anonymity. Military jets have been stationed in Yola since Boko Haram’s daring December attack on Nigerian Air Force headquarters in Maiduguri, provincial capital of Borno. The militants reportedly destroyed all the aircraft stationed on the base. The militant onslaught on Attagara is believed to have come as a reprisal after villagers had managed to repel a militant attack. “We were in the church when they came,” villager Simeon Adamu told AA, recalling the recent attack on Attagara. “They shot at us and used machetes, but hunters in the community also mobilized themselves to challenge the terrorists; many of them [the attackers] were killed,” he said. “Nine people were killed in the community, too, including three in the church,” added Adamu, a Christian. He said the villagers had known their challenge would not go without reprisal, so they preemptively departed the village. “As expected, they [the militants] launched a fierce attack on our community yesterday, but nobody was available to be killed,” said Adamu. “They set our homes ablaze. They destroyed the community, including our primary school and the church – apparently in frustration,” he added. Dima Haileru, a hunter, confirmed the attack. “We left the community to them because we knew they would come in full force to retaliate for the heavy casualties they suffered,” he told AA by phone. “We ran for our lives because there is no one to protect us,” Haileru said. Borno State has been the hardest hit by the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency, now in its fifth year. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is forbidden” in Nigeria’s local Hausa language, first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against government misrule and corruption. The group later became violent, however, after the death of its leader in 2009 while in police custody. In the five years since, the shadowy sect has been blamed for numerous attacks – on places of worship and government institutions – and thousands of deaths

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