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Soldiers Flee As B’Haram Kills 37 In Adamawa



Last Tuesday it was Yobe State where 59 schoolchildren were massacred. On Wednesday,  the bloodletting extended to Adamawa State where Boko Haram terrorists, armed with rocket-propelled grenades  nearly sacked  four  communities.

An official  death toll in the attacks  was  not available as of 9.40pm on Thursday. But  the  British Broadcasting Corporation Hausa Service put it at 37 while the Agence France Presse  reported 33.

Banks, shops, part of a local government secretariat  and houses were  reported to have  been  looted and burnt during the six-hour  simultenous  raids  on  the three communities –  Michika,         Gulak , Shuwa  and Krichinga – by  the militants.

It was gathered that  in Shuwa, Madagali Local Government Area,  a repeat  of the Yobe massacre was averted  when the  insurgents attacked the  Christians Teacher College,  Christian Secondary School    and a Catholic Convent.

A resident told The PUNCH that the head of the Christian Secondary School, on hearing gunshots in the community,  advised his  pupils to run into  nearby bushes to avoid being killed by the terrorists.

The resident, who declined to give his name, added that when the  hoodlums eventually  arrived and saw the school deserted,   they  burnt down almost all the structures on  the premises.

He however did not say if all the pupils came out of the bushes unhurt since the incident took place at night.

A pastor in Shuwa told the AFP that soldiers retreated when the armed insurgents invaded the community.

“When the soldiers at the military checkpoints saw the number of the attackers, they retreated into the nearby bushes as the gunmen operated without challenge during the operation that lasted throughout the night,” the  cleric said.

It was also  gathered that among the over 20 persons killed in Shuwa, was a priest at St. Augustine Catholic Church.

The home of a former commissioner in the state,  Idris Nuhu, was among those burnt in the community.

In Michika, Michika LGA,   another group of Boko Haram gunmen burnt three banks, a police station,   part of the Michika  LGA  secretariat  and shops.

A  resident, who identified himself simply  as Fide, told the News Agency of Nigeria, that   the attackers,   who arrived in  nine vans firing guns and throwing explosives, killed a banker and a villager.

Fide said, “They burnt three banks, a police station, shops and part of the Michika LGA  secretariat.

“One of the dead body is that of a  member of  staff   of the Bank of Agriculture.”

Some other  residents of Michika said they slept in the hills and nearby bushes  during  the mayhem that lasted for about five hours.

The  BBC Hausa Service quoted witnesses as saying that some of those killed in Michika and Shuwa either had gunshot wounds or   had their throats slit.

The Chairman of  the Michika LGA, Ulama Maina, confirmed to journalists that banks, police station, shops and some houses were torched.

Maina  however did not give  the  casualty figure.

The  spokesman  for the 23rd Armoured Brigade, Yola, Capt. Ja’afaru Nuhu, who also confirmed that    communities in Madagali and Michika LGAs were attacked, told NAN that  details of the incident  would be released at a later stage.

Grace Hassan, an indigene of  Michika,  told   The Punch that the attacks that started at about 8pm  lasted till 2am,   adding that information at her disposal indicated that the mayhem  sent fears into the hearts of residents of Lassa,  a neighbouring town in Borno State.

According to her, the  residents  of the community    fled   into the bushes to avoid being killed.

A resident of Lassa, Peter Satumari, said many of them  fled  their homes into the bushes when the sound of gunshots and explosives were  becoming unbearable.

Satumari said, “No  one could sleep because of the sound of gunshots which we thought were  being fired from   our village. We   had to  run into the bushes believing they might come to attack our houses.

“It was later  on Thursday  morning    that we  saw smoke billowing from afar and got to know there were  attacks in Shuwa, Gulak and Michika, all in  Adamawa State.”

It was also gathered that the sect attacked Krichinga, a village about five kilometres east of Shuwa. There,  four people  lost  their lives  and many were injured.

A furious  governor of the state Gov. Murtala Nyako  suggested there must be collusion with the Boko Haram terrorist network.

Nyako, a former navy chief of staff, said the attacks ridiculed President Goodluck Jonathan’s insistence that the military was winning the war against Islamic militants.

When Borno state Governor  Kashim Shettima  claimed  that Boko Haram fighters were  “better armed and better motivated,” than the troops fighting them,   Jonathan  upbraided him.

The Defence Headquarters  has however    launched what it described as   specialised campaign against the Boko Haram insurgents.

The Director of Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, said during a  news  conference in Abuja on Thursday,   that the  campaign had  already taken off in  Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states  which are under emergency rule.

He explained  that   part of the arrangement  was  to pursue and  prevent the insurgents  from escaping from the country.

The Defence spokesman said that  terrorists fleeing towards Nigeria’s borders with Cameroun  had severely  attacked  some communities in desperation for food and money.

He said, “The purpose of this briefing is to intimate you with the elevation of counter terrorism campaign in the country. The new approach marks another phase in the operations designed to further contain the terrorists and their activities.

“The specialised campaign which has commenced is being undertaken simultaneously in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states. This operation is also in furtherance of efforts at apprehending the terrorists and ensuring they do not escape out of Nigeria as they are now desperate to do.

“Unfortunately, however, they have in the course of their flight towards various borders, continued to perpetrate mayhem as noticed in some parts of Adamawa State yesterday (Wednesday), where they attacked communities.

“In desperation for money and food, they looted and burnt banks, shops and filling stations along their way through Michika as they headed for  the Camerounian border.”

Olukolade said that three civilians and a soldier were killed in the attacks on the Adamawa communities  while six insurgents were gunned down and two captured alive.

He said that  the DHQ believed  that the insurgents who attacked   the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi in Yobe State were the same people behind the Michika  onslaught.

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