by Ibrahim Abdulaziz,
Rampaging gunmen riding camels shot and killed six local hunters in an attack on a farming communities of Aljannaru in Song, northern Adamawa State, fleeing residents and security sources said on Sunday.
Although the identity of the attackers is not yet clear, local sources alleged that it could be part of the dreaded insurgent groups plaguing north east Nigeria.
Locals said that they arrived before dawn riding camels, with herds of cows destroying farms.
“They then climbed a hill overlooking the village and opened fire indiscriminately before carrying out house-to-house attacks,’’ a fleeing resident who identified himself as Buba said.
“Militiamen on camels attacked our village Aljannaru here in Song, and began shooting… six local hunters who were assisting us have been killed,” he said.
“I have never seen this calamity before, the rampaging gunmen in Boko Haram-like style wielding highly sophisticated weapons, have forced us to run to scamper for our lives,’’ David Yaro another fleeing resident, said on telephone, adding that the village had been deserted following the attack.
A security source said the gunmen wielded sophisticated weapons including AK 47 rifles, RGPs and carted away cows and raped women during the attack.
Aljannaru, often described as ‘’ home of relaxation’’ is about 35 kilometers away from Song, houses about tens of thousands of people, predominantly farmers.
The highly charged village has seen several deadly incidents in the past, including armed robberies that have caused multiple fatalities.
In an atmosphere of despair and agony, officials of Nigeria Hunters Association in the state, described the killing of their colleagues as “unfortunate’’.
Modibbo Tola, a senior member of the hunters group in the state said, ” Yes I can confirm to you that we lost six gallant members during this deadly attack by the dreaded gunmen riding camels.
“While we mourn our members including a top official in Gombi Unit, we will continue to help our people. No retreat nor surrender and even the runaway killers will soon face wrath.
“Our major constraint and challenges include lack of support from local authorities, we don’t have bikes and vehicles to chase criminals, the government had earlier pledged to assist but all to no avail. We are left on mercy of our own people,’’ Mr Tola said.
Also confirming the attack, police spokesman in the state, Suleiman Nguroje, a deputy superintendent of police, said “Yet to be identified gunmen on camels heavily armed struck at Aljannaru village and killed six hunters and already state command has deployed its men to track down the fleeing gunmen. So, people should be vigilant and report any suspicious movement.’’
For now, there’s growing concern in Adamawa, North East Nigeria, over the level of banditry and kidnapping in the state with locals alerting that bandits are hiding on the mountains.