Nigeria’s police authorities have given a near full picture of the damages done by armed men, believed to be Boko Haram members, who attacked the border town of Maiha, in Adamawa state, early Friday.
Using a mix of gun fire and explosives, the armed men attacked a police station, a prison and government offices in Maiha, a northeastern town along the border with Cameroon, leaving two persons dead, police said.
“Two people were killed in the attack. We lost a policeman in the attack on the police station and a civilian was also killed at the government lodge,” Adamawa state police spokesman Mohammed Ibrahim said.
“The attackers burnt down the police divisional headquarters, a court, a satellite prison, a local education authority building and the government lodge,” he said, adding that the palace of the town’s traditional chief was also partially torched.
No arrests have been made, he said.
Andrew Barka, head of prisons in the state, said inmates were freed during the attack on the prison.
“The satellite prison in Maiha was broken into and burnt by the attackers. They freed inmates before setting the prison on fire. I can’t say how many inmates were freed at the moment because I don’t have the actual number of prisoners at the time of the attack,” he said.
Gunmen, also suspected of belonging to the Boko Haram group also killed five persons in separate attacks near Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, the usual hotspot for the group’s insurgency, the army said Saturday.
Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, the military spokesman in Maiduguri said some gunmen killed five persons in their homes outside the city.
“Information revealed that some terrorists sneaked into Musari, a village located on the outskirts of Maiduguri and secretly carried out selective killings of five people including a serving Nigerian police traffic warden,” he said.
He said troops responded to the attack, arresting three suspects and recovering one AK 47 rifle with 10 rounds of ammunition.
Sagir Musa’s account has been disputed in another account that puts the death toll at 15, making a total of 17 in the Nigerian North east axis in 24 hours.
Reports said the attackers at Musari village tied up men, women and children before slitting their throats, killing at least 15.
The gunmen shouted religious slogans and later ordered those there to be gathered up into a group, said Mshelia Inusa, a primary school teacher in the village.
“We heard some people chanting, ‘God is great, God is great’ amid sounds of banging on doors of houses at about 1 a.m.,” the teacher said. “A voice was heard ordering people to be slaughtered and also voices of children were heard screaming.”
Inusa said he and others later saw corpses with their hands tied behind their backs and their throats cut.
Later Friday morning, an ambulance arrived at the State Specialists Hospital in Maiduguri, accompanied by a group of military vehicles, a security guard said. Agitated soldiers ordered people away, but the guard said he counted at least 15 bodies being brought into the facility’s morgue.
The guard spoke on condition of anonymity out of fears of angering either the military or the sect.
The Boko Haram so far has not claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks.
Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency has left some 3,000 people dead in Nigeria.
Boko Haram is now thought to include various factions with differing aims, in addition to imitators and criminal gangs that carry out violence under the guise of the group.
Its targets have included Christian churches as well as symbols of the establishment, including police and other security agents.
Boko Haram, which can be loosely translated from the northern Hausa language as “Western education is a sin”, has claimed many attacks in northern and central parts of Nigeria.