At least 55 people were killed in two Boko Haram raids this week near Maiduguri, capital of restive northeastern Nigeria Borno state, a vigilante and two residents confirmed on Friday.
“Boko Haram fighters raided Bale and Kayamla villages where they killed at least 55 people and burnt several homes after looting them before proceeding to the outskirts of Maiduguri where they were crushed by troops,” a vigilante official, Abacha Zinnari, said.
“They killed 30 people in Kayamla and another 25 in Bale,” he said.
A resident of Bale, Husseini Ari, said the village on Thursday buried 25 people killed in the previous day’s raid while several others who were injured were taken to hospital.
“The village is mourning the death of 25 people killed in the Boko Haram attack who were buried yesterday,” Ari said.
A group of heavily armed Boko Haram fighters late Wednesday launched an offensive on Maiduguri city which was repelled by troops from a military base on the outskirts of the city, according to the military and residents.
The insurgents had raided the villages before the foiled assault on the city but the story was slow to emerge following a round-the-clock curfew imposed on the city by the military on Thurday which restricted movement.
“The gunmen burnt around 50 houses and looted food stores and livestock,” said Ari, adding that the insurgents targeted homes they identified as belonging to vigilantes in the village
Musa Kumbo, a resident of Kayamla, said at least 30 people were killed in the Boko Haram raid on the village and surrounding settlements.
“The attackers were heard shouting they would come back and finish their operation once they were done with Maiduguri,” Kumbo said.
At least three soldiers, six vigilantes and dozens of Boko Haram insurgents were killed during clashes in Maiduguri on Wednesday evening, sources have said.
The assault was the first on Maiduguri for three months and came after sweeping offensives against Boko Haram strongholds by a regional military coalition of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.