‘15,000 fled from Boko Haram attack’
More than 15,000 people have fled an area around the northeast town of Damboa after a spate of lethal assaults by Boko Haram fighters during the weekend, the emergency services said.
Suspected terrorists raided Damboa on Friday and Saturday, shooting dead more than 40 residents and burning houses, part of a pattern of killing that has forced tens of thousands to flee this year. They also attacked six nearby villages.
Boko Haram, which is fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria, has ceaselessly targeted civilians this year in rural parts of Borno State, where its fighters fled after a military offensive dislodged them from the cities, Reuters says.
Abdulkair Ibrahim, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Borno, said the agency had records of 15,204 people who had fled Damboa and the six villages -Kimba, Madaragrau, Mandafuma, Chikwar Kir, Bomburatai and Sabon Kwatta.
Addressing journalists in the capital Abuja on Monday, Defence spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade, denied that Boko Haram had taken over Damboa and the surrounding areas, when asked about reports that the military had fled and the insurgents had hoisted their black flags in the town.
“We are not conceding any portion of this country to any terrorist group,” he said. “Our patrols are active and they are stepping up their activities to reverse any insecurity there,” he stated.
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