At least 32 locals were killed over the weekend by Boko Haram/ Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) insurgents in Borno State, authorities have said.
Those killed were said to be youths trapped in an ambush by the insurgents around Mudu village – some 45 kilometres away from Rann, the headquarters of Kala-Balge Local Government Area of the state
The spokesman for Governor Babagana Zulum, Isa Gusau, confirmed the figure on Wednesday in a statement released to journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital.
“Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is very disturbed by the unfortunate killing of fellow citizens at the weekend,” he said. “Pending a full report, the governor was briefed by the Majority Leader of Borno State House of Assembly, Mohammed Dige, who represents Kala-Balge where the victims hailed from.”
According to reports, the assailants arrived at Mudu on motorcycles and attacked locals said to be farmers with guns and machetes.
While some of the victims were said to have been buried on Monday, others were reported to still be missing.
Amid the controversy over the identities of the victims, Gusau clarified that they were not farmers but young men who engaged in gathering metals.
He confirmed from the brief of the lawmaker that six persons survived the attack while two others fled the scene unhurt, adding that 14 bodies have been recovered.
“From the lawmaker’s briefing, a total of 32 youths are believed to have been killed by the insurgents,” the governor’s aide recounted. “The youths were not farmers, but highly enterprising young men engaged in gathering metals popularly called ‘Kayan Ajaokuta’ which are sold as raw materials for steel production.
“The victims were said to have gone to a deserted Mudu village in Dikwa LGA, which is 45 kilometres away from Rann in Kala-Bakge, in search of the raw materials but in the process, they were unfortunately ambushed by the insurgents. Six persons were injured during the ambush while two escaped unhurt.”
“A team of soldiers alongside the Chairman of Kala-Balge LGA on Tuesday recovered 14 bodies of victims who were apparently tied and shot at close range. Governor Zulum shares deeply the pains of bereaved families and the good people of Kala-Balge and is awaiting a full report by the end of today (Wednesday) before necessary measures,” Gusau briefed.