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Many feared dead as Boko Haram attacks Rann

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Many persons were feared killed Thursday night as Boko Haram gunmen staged a late evening attack on Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge local government area of Borno State, sources said.

Witnesses say the village, where hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and humanitarian workers are camping, suddenly came under serious attack by armed Boko Haram gunmen.

An audio distress message sent out by a woman working for an international humanitarian organization in the town, confirmed that the village was attacked by terrorists.

There is no telephone service in Rann, but humanitarian workers depend on wifi services provided by their employers to communicate with loved ones via social media platforms that support video or voice calls.

The said lady had a distressing chat with her male friend (name withheld) between the hours of 8pm and 9pm.

In her voice message, she informed her friend in Maiduguri that they were under attack and that they had to run to the nearby military base for protection.

Her last voice chat indicated the attackers eventually stormed the military base where her and others were taking refuge and that she was about to be harmed.

Her last message in Hausa was “oh my God they are now coming in, they are going to kill me…”

A security personnel who asked not to be named confirmed  via telephone that the attack started at about 7pm.

“We got the report that Rann was being attacked at about 7pm and that many persons may have been affected but no one can clearly say the number of dead casualty,” the source said.

“We have to wait till morning before one could tell exactly what happened there.”

Rann, a difficult-to-access community about 150km West of Maiduguri, is the Borno village where an air force jet deployed under Operation Lafiya Dole dropped bombs in error on an IDP camp.

Nearly 200 persons died in that unfortunate January 2017 incident.

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