150 people fleeing Boko Haram gunmen shot, drowned in Yobe river


No fewer than 150 people drowned in a river or were shot dead while fleeing Boko Haram gunmen who raided a remote village in Nigeria’s northeastern Yobe state, local residents said on Tuesday.
Dozens of militants arrived on motorcycles and in a car on Thursday last week and opened fire, scattering terrified residents of Kukuwa-Gari.
“They opened fire instantly, which forced residents to flee. They shot a number of people. Unfortunately many residents who tried to flee plunged into the river which is full from the rain. Many drowned,” Modu Balumi, a resident of the village, told AFP.
“By our latest toll we have 150 people either (shot dead) or drowned in the attack. The gunmen deliberately killed a fisherman who tried to save drowning residents of the village.”
Balumi said the bodies of many of the drowned were picked out by locals several kilometres away.
News of the attack was slow to emerge because the militants have destroyed telecom masts around the village, around 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Yobe State capital Damaturu, since the insurgency began in 2009.
“Most residents, particularly women and children, ran towards the river in confusion,”said Bukar Tijjani, another villager, who confirmed the death toll.
“They were pursued by the gunmen who kept firing at them. In the frantic effort to escape they jumped into the river, which was full to the brim.”
A local government official confirmed the attack but put the death toll much lower, at around 50.
The ambush came during the region’s peak rainy season, when most waterways in northeastern Nigeria are swollen and can flow with dangerous speed.
The village was still reeling from a raid by suspected Boko Haram militants on July 31 when at least 10 people were killed by gunmen who burned homes, food silos and livestock.
‎The Gujba area of Yobe state, where Kukuwa-Gari village is …Read More

Source:: New Mail