AT least, 45 people were killed when they were lured by fake “preachers” to where they were killed while several others sustained gunshot wounds at Bargari village of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State on Wednesday night.
A resident of the village, who escaped into the bush but returned to pick up his pieces, Mallam Abubakar Maikudi, said “the gunmen who came into the village at about 9.00 p.m on Wednesday gathered residents in one place, convincing them that they came into Bargari to propagate the teaching/preaching of Islam and when almost all residents were gathered, another large of terrorists came from nowhere and opened fire on the congregation.
Maikudi said, “I counted 45 dead bodies, including that of one of my neighbours on the ground.
“We started running for dear lives. I was able to escape without being shot, but the gunmen killed over 40 and injured many before they started looting valuables and set structures ablaze. They razed the whole village.”
Another escapee, who did not mention his name, said “the gunmen, numbering 20, ambushed the village with four Toyota Hilux vehicles, AK47 rifles, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs and wreaked havoc before they fled towards the Sambisa forest.”
However, a BBC Hausa service monitored in Maiduguri by the Nigerian Tribune reported that about 45 people were killed by Boko Haram sect in Bargari village on Wednesday.
Calls put through to the mobile lines of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Gideon Jubrin, to confirm the incidents, were unsuccessful, but a top police officer confirmed the attack, pointing out that “45 people were killed when suspected terrorist group invaded Bargari village, leaving several others seriously injured.”
The attack also left many people displaced, as the terrorists set houses, shops, vehicles, motocycles and bicycles ablaze, before carting away food items and livestock.
Bargari is on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the state capital and about 30 kilometres south east of Giwa Barracks, which came under attack on March 14.
Meanwhile, two soldiers deployed in the private residence of the Gombe State governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, in Gombe, were feared killed on Thursday evening, when an armored tank stationed at the residence exploded, even as two others were seriously injured in the incident.
The incident, the Nigerian Tribune gathered, occurred at about 6.20 p.m, prompting security personnel, including soldiers, police and others to immediately cordon off the area.
Witnesses said the security personnel, who were joined by men of the state fire service, started to evacuate victims of the incident from the scene for treatment.
Efforts made to confirm the incident from the spokesman of the state police command, Fwaje Atajiri, failed as his lines were switched off, but the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dankwambo on Media, Mansur Lawan, confirmed the incident to journalists in a text message, where he said there was an accidental discharge from an armoured tank stationed in front of the governor’s personal resident.
The correspondent of Radio Deutche Welle in Gombe, Suleiman Mohammed Al-Amin, who was beaten up by soldiers for daring to cover the scene of the incident, said armoured tank in front of the governor’s house caught fire after exploding, adding that he saw a man whose hand was chopped up in the incident.