World Bulletin/News Desk
Suspected Boko Haram militants have launched a daring attack on a town in Nigeria's northeastern Yobe state, setting some public and private buildings ablaze, a local official said Saturday.
A gang of Boko Haram militants stormed Damagun, a bustling town and the headquarters of Fune Local Government, at 6:00 pm local time on Friday and attacked the divisional police station and a military unit in the town, local chief Digma Gana told reporters.
He said the insurgents came in large numbers to raid the town and clashed with security forces in it.
"[But] the attack was repelled through the joint efforts of the military troops and police," he said.
Gana said the insurgents destroyed a number of facilities, including the local government's education department, the office of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), two Toyota Hilux vehicles belonging to the area council and the guesthouse of the Fune Emir.
No casualties were reported in the attack.
Gana said that security troops "fought gallantly to repel the attack."
Jubril Grema, a local resident, said that the insurgents had burned some shops in the town and carted away foodstuffs.
Damagum is located along a major highway from Maiduguri, Boko Haram's birthplace, to the northwest Kano city, where two bombers ran into a major mosque in late November, killing over 100 worshippers.
Friday's attack came nearly two years after Boko Haram militants raided a public school at the outskirts of the town in April 2012, killing over 40 students.
Survivors tell of horrors
Boko Haram militants, who had captured several towns in the northeastern Nigerian state of Borno, were engaged in random executions of locals, Nigerians, who escaped some of these towns, said Saturday.
The militants had randomly picked people, including old ones, and accused them of violating the rules of their so called "caliphate" they claim to have established in the captured towns, Bukar Tijjani, one of a number of people who managed to escape from Bama town, about 78km southwest of Maiduguri, the provincial capital of Borno State, said.
"Sometimes they [the Boko Haram militants] may pick five or more people, depending on the enormity of the alleged violation of the rules of the caliphate," Tijjani, 28, told The Anadolu Agency.
He said people picked were usually accused of committing adultery, theft, or failing to pay enough money for the militants.
He added that some other people were accused of giving information about Boko Haram to the government, while others were accused of disloyalty to their Boko Haram leaders.
Tijjani managed to escape the town, having got assistance from a member of his sect, to a safe place in the bush. He spent two days in the bush before he could make it to Maiduguri.
Another Nigerian, Mark Ngwaya, managed to flee from the border town of Gwoza, around 135km southeast of Maiduguri, following coordinated attacks on communities along the Nigeria-Cameroon border.
He said the killing of ordinary people in territories captured by Boko Haram had become a "regular occurrence."
"My brother was lucky to have escaped to Cameroon in November," Ngwaya told AA. "What he told me over the phone a week later was frightening," he added.
Ngwaya's brother told him that he was speared by Boko Haram because he agreed to change his faith, while other people who refused to do this were slaughtered.
Boko Haram militants took locals to a primary school in Gwoza for what they call "Judgment Day" and then stoned them to death, slaughtered them or shot them dead, depending on the enormity of the "sin they had committed", Ngwaya quoted his brother as saying.
A member of a group of youth vigilantes from the town confirmed Ngwaya's brother's remarks.
He said the militants did not only kill elderly people, but unmarried men and women as well.
"They've been forcing teenagers to marry and executing people at will contrary to Islamic teachinga and rules," the man said on condition of anonymity.
Having captured several Borno State towns in September of this year, Boko Haram declared these towns part of their Islamic Caliphate.
Outlawed in Nigeria, Turkey and the United States, Boko Haram first emerged in the early 2000s preaching against government misrule and corruption.
It became violent after the death of its leader in 2009 while in police custody.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2014, 17:15