At least 12 civilians were killed in multiple Boko Haram jihadist attacks targeting two villages and a camp for those displaced by the bloody conflict in northeastern Nigeria, civilian militia and residents told AFP Thursday.
Jihadists in seven trucks late on Wednesday attacked Bulaburin and Kofa villages as well as a camp in Dalori village outside the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.
“The terrorists attacked and completely burnt Bulaburin and Kofa villages and burnt half the Dalori two IDP (internally displaced persons) camp,” militia leader Babakura Kolo told AFP.
“They killed nine people in Bulaburin, two people in Dalori, and one in Kofa and looted food supplies before setting them on fire,” Kolo said.
The attack was launched in Kofa where the jihadists opened fire indiscriminately and killed one person as residents fled, said Kofa resident Musa Goni.
“They then moved to nearby Bulaburin where they gunned down nine people and burnt the village after stealing food,” Goni said.
At Dalori 2 IDP camp, which houses 10,000 homeless people, the jihadists engaged troops and civilian militia guarding the camp in a shootout before overrunning the makeshift facility, civilian militia camp member Solomon Adamu said.
“When the Boko Haram gunmen came they stopped on the road overlooking the camp and started firing,” said Adamu who took part in the fight.
“Soldiers and civilian JTF (militia) at the gate engaged them in a gunfight but were forced to withdraw into the camp because we were outgunned,” he said.
Residents were forced to flee and two were killed while several were injured, according to Adamu.
The jihadists invaded the camp after overrunning troops and the militia and “burnt half the camp” by setting fires and firing rocket-propelled grenades on buildings.
“One grenade didn’t explode and is still lying in the camp, waiting for bomb disposal units to evacuate it,” Adamu said.
The area has been attacked multiple times before by the Boko Haram faction loyal to Abubakar Shekau.
Dalori, which is about 15 kilometres (nine miles) from Maiduguri, houses about 50,000 people in makeshift camps.
In June 2017, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up at the camp. The attack injured several residents but killed only the bombers.
It followed a separate attack at nearby Kofa village, where female suicide bombers exploded and killed at least 16 people.
In January 2016, at least 85 people were killed when militant fighters stormed and torched Dalori village and tried to gain access to the camps.
Despite government insistence that Boko Haram jihadists are near defeat, Nigeria is still hit by heavy fighting.
The conflict has claimed more than 27,000 lives since 2009 and nearly two million people still cannot return to their homes in the Lake Chad region.
In recent months, Boko Haram has carried out major attacks on military targets, killing dozens.