gunNo fewer than 43 people have been killed by Boko Haram terrorists, who attacked and burnt down three villages in Borno State on Tuesday evening.
Residents confirmed the development to newsmen yesterday that the insurgents, who stormed the villages in dozens on motorcycles, attacked Matangale, Buraltima and Dirmanti villages last Tuesday, opening fire on them before looting and burning homes.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the news of the raids and killings was slow to emerge because of poor communication in the region after Boko Haram destroyed telecoms masts in previous attacks.
One of the residents, Dala Tungushe, who fled Matangale to Biu, some 90 kilometres away said: “They came around 400pm on 20 motorcycles, three gunmen on each, and attacked Matangale before proceeding to Buraltima and Dirmanti. They killed 43 people and burnt all the houses in the three villages after looting food supplies.”
It was gathered that Matangale was worst hit by the attack as the insurgents opened fire at a well outside the village where residents had gathered to fetch drinking water and do their laundry.
Another resident, Bulama Karuye narrated: “The Boko Haram gunmen opened fire on the crowd at the well where they killed around 16 people. In all, we lost 43 people in the attacks. All the three villages were completely burnt.”
He added that the number of casualties could have been higher had some of the villagers not been away at a weekly market 40 kilometres away from thevillage.
Hundreds of residents of the affected villages, particularly women and children, fled to a nearby Damboa town where they sought refuge in a primary school, Tungushe and Karuye said.
They said the attackers ‎came from nearby Sambisa Forest, a Boko Haram stronghold from where hundreds of women and children kidnapped by the militants were rescued during recent military operations.
Troops and local hunters from Damboa pursued the fleeing attackers into the bush and a gunfight erupted‎.
“The soldiers and the hunters brought back a pickup truck and some motorcycles they recovered from the Boko Haram attackers… but we don’t know how many of the gunmen they killed,” Tungushe said.
More than 150 people have been killed by Boko Haram since President Muhammadu Buhari took power on May 29. He has vowed to crush the militants and end their bloody six-year insurgency.

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