45 killed by gunmen in Nigeria

Abuja, Jan 28: Police in Nigeria Monday said that at least 45 peple lost their lives in an attack launched by gunmen in Konduga local government area of the northeastern state of Borno, the headquarters of the Boko Haram sect.

State police chief Lawan Tanko told Xinhua in Maiduguri, the state capital, that 45 dead bodies were found, although the death toll may rise as counting of dead victims was still ongoing.

He said some 26 injured were being taken care of at local hospital.

“But the figures could increase as our men are still in the village searching for more casualties,” he added.

Kawuri, the biggest town in Konduga, came under attack Sunday evening despite a state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan about a year ago.

Local residents said scores of gunmen, who wielded AK 47 rifles and shot indiscriminately, set hundreds of houses ablaze with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The residents earlier said that about 52 people, including a soldier, were killed when gunmen unleashed terror on the village.

Sources said the gunmen fled into Sambisa Games Forest, which has recently served as a place of refuge for fleeing Boko Haram fighters.

Issa Abdullahi, a survivor of the incident, said many residents who sustained injuries during the attack were taken to Konduga General Hospital and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, for treatment.

“More than 48 bodies littered the area,” Abdullahi told reporters in Maiduguri, which is some 60 km away from the site of the incident.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although it is a stronghold of Boko Haram, a sect which proves to be the major security threat in the West African country.

Last week, Nigeria’s newly-appointed defence chief Alex Badeh vowed to end the insurgency of Boko Haram by April.

More than 1,500 people, including women and children, have been killed in the five-year insurgency of the sect.

IANS