Feb. 16, 2014
Ola Audu, PremiumTimes
A village called Izge was attacked
At least 63 people have been killed in a village called Izge in Gwoza Local government of Borno State after gunmen believed to be Boko Haram attacked residents on Saturday night, the police and witnesses said.
The attack came three days after gunmen attacked the same village and killed nine soldiers in a broad day shootout.
Boko Haram had carried out another attack on villagers in Doron-Baga in Kukawa local government area on the same night even though details of the incident is yet to be made public.
A top security personnel confirmed authoritatively that the casualty figure in Izge “was over 50”, even though he said he could not give casualty details on that of Doron-Baga.
Borno state police commissioner, Lawan Tanko, who also confirmed the incident said he had no details yet, but promised the information once he got details from his District Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Gwoza.
Hassan Ali, a resident of Izge told PREMIUM TIMES that the gunmen who attacked their village wore military fatigues.
He recounted that the attackers invaded the quiet community at about midnight and killed at least 63 persons in cold blood. Many others who survived were left with serious injuries, while some fled into the bushes.
“We thought they were soldiers, because they were driving in military trucks, they told some of our villagers to gather at a spot as though they were trying to protect them, they suddenly opened fire on them,” said Mr. Ali.
“They entered Izge driving in seven Hilux Pick Up vans while others rode motorcycles, while chanting Allahu Akbar (God is great). Only those of us that were fortunate to hear the arrival of the gunmen were able to escape while several others who were already asleep were caught unawares and slaughtered.”
“They burnt houses, and left with ten vehicles belonging to our people. Several women and children were found seriously injured. They also looted our stores and left with food items. We had to flee the village because we cannot risk being attacked again”.
A top politician and members of the Gwoza local government caretaker council who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on phone but craved anonymity said “the attacks were messy, I don’t want to celebrate the numbers of casualties because even one life is too precious to be killed in the manner the Boko Haram are killing us”.
The local council official who was in Izge on Sunday said “the town was also razed down, and virtually everyone has fled and those that were caught running for their dear lives were rounded up and slaughtered as well”.
The politician said the attack in Gwoza area and specifically Izge town became intense after the military had withdrawn its men from there.
“Our convoy was shot at three times as we were trying to leave Gwoza for Maiduguri; but I thank God that we escaped them and arrived safely,” he said.
“Our state is fast becoming volatile, the attacks are coming from everywhere. We need more soldiers in Gwoza, because that is the area that borders Sambisa forest. The military withdrew its soldiers from Izge after Boko Haram had killed nine of their personnel during the last Wednesday attack.”