Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed 148 people with 68 sustaining injuries in an attack carried out on homes and mosques in Borno state.
In a report on The Nation, one of the survivors who escaped to Maiduguri gave a horrific account of how the terrorists surrounded the entire Kukawa village and started shooting sporadically at the time the Muslim faithful were about to break their fast for the day.
"We started hearing gunshots from nowhere all over the town. The terrorists surrounded the town shooting sporadically on the residents. Confusion and panic took over the town as people began to run for their lives to unknown destination confused”, Aji Bukar narrated.
He added that many of the dead bodies were still littered on the streets as the residents were afraid to come out to bury the dead at the time he escaped.
“As I speak to you, some of the corpses were still not buried. People are afraid to come out. The entire village is deserted. Elders in town were afraid the attackers may return which is delaying the burial of the dead bodies scattered over the town” he said.
A member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), who also spoke to the media outfit by phone said that the insurgents caught many residents and shot them in two separate mosques.
“People were just preparing to break their Ramadan fast and already gathered in nearby mosques when Boko Haram people came on in a convoy of Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles painted in ash colour.
“They rounded up people and opened fire on them. Boko Haram later set fire on several houses burning many people. One of our colleagues who escaped the attack said they recovered 97 dead bodies, some of them burnt beyond recognition before burying them this afternoon (Thursday)”, he said.
A former local official of Kukawa local government, Alhaji Habib Kakero wrote on his Facebook: “Our town Kukawa has been attacked by Boko Haram, they killed many of our people, and may Allah repose their souls in perfect peace.”
Mohammed Kukawa who hails from Kukawa but resides in Maiduguri revealed that he had lost three of his family members in the attack.
“A family member who escaped to a nearby village in Niger Republic has called to tell me my elder brother, who is a farmer, uncle and other relations were among those killed Wednesday,” he said.
A local from Kukawa village, who gave his name as Kolo (a fisherman) while speaking to AFP said: "The attackers have killed at least 97 people," adding that he counted the bodies. "They wiped out the immediate family of my uncle ...They killed his children, about five of them, and set his entire house ablaze.”
Another witness called Babami Alhaji Kolo, who fled to Maiduguri, the state capital after the attack took place; said more than 50 militants stormed the village early Wednesday evening.
"The terrorists first descended on Muslim worshipers in various mosques who were observing the Maghrib prayer shortly after breaking their fast.
"They... opened fire on the worshipers who were mostly men and young children.
"They spared nobody. In fact, while some of the terrorists waited and set most of the corpses on fire, others proceeded to houses and shot indiscriminately at women who were preparing food," he said.
Shortly after the massacre in Kukawa, the Boko Haram militants gunned down 48 Muslim worshippers in another attack in two North-Eastern villages, another witness and a lawmaker told AFP.
A local lawmaker, who gave his name as Mohammed Tahir, said:"The Boko Haram gunmen killed 48 men and injured 11 others in the attack."
The Nation reports that the 48 people were killed in Monguno town of Monguno local government area of Borno state.
It reported that 23 people were also reported to have sustained various injuries and some houses and shops were also torched by the gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists.
Telling of the Monguno attack, an escapee said that the insurgents fled from the Sambisa Forests and regrouped on the shores of Lake Chad to attack unprotected villages near Monguno town.
He said: “The attackers armed with rifles and explosives burst into our villages; and summoned all the male villagers here to congregate for a special message from Boko Haram leader. Three minutes after, one of the gunmen ordered us to lie down with face on ground; and all of them were shot dead at close range.”
Premium Times reports that the Boko Haram terrorists launched the attack on two sister villagers of Mussaram in Monguno local government.
Mussaram-I and Mussaram-II, are twin agrarian communities located about 8km away from Monguno town.
Maidugu Bida, a local vigilante group commander in Monguno town told journalists “a total number of 48 persons – all males – died on the spot while 17 others escaped with serious injuries”.
A member of the House of Representatives, Tahir Monguno, who represents Monguno, Nganzai, Marte Federal Constituency, confirmed the incident in a BBC Hausa broadcast on Thursday.
“We received the sad news (Wednesday) that Boko Haram terrorists had attacked some communities near Monguno,” said Mr. Monguno. “Since their dislodgement from the Sambisa forest, many Boko Haram terrorists had relocated to areas around Monguno where they have been picking on hapless villages and killing residents there.
“On Tuesday, the terrorists attacked the twin villages of Mussaram I and Mussaram II in the night. They went there in the night when the villagers were resting after the day’s fasting and assembled them before opening fire on them.”
This fresh massacre comes just hours after two suicide bombers detonated a bomb at a hospital in Molai Village, Borno state, a few kilometres from scenes visited by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was in the town to pay a visit to refugees.