By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Twelve persons were lost in suicide attacks unleashed on Mashimari village in Konduga,Â Local Government Area of Borno State by suspected members of the Boko Haram terrorist group.
The Chairman of the state Emergency Management Agency (BOSEMA), Ahmed Satomi, in a message to journalists, said: â€œWe regret to announce that 12 people lost their lives while 28 other persons were injured in the Monday (yesterday) morning suicide attack on Mashimari village of Konduga town.â€
Satomi added: â€œAll victims have been evacuated from the scene of the attack to medical facilities in Maiduguri, while those with minor injuries have been referred to Konduga hospital for treatment.â€
The figure by Satomi fell short of the earlier figure given by the agencyâ€™s Head of Rescue Operations, Bello Dambatta, who was in Konduga to conduct the rescue operations at the scenes of the attacks.
Dambatta had told journalists that 15 persons were killed in the attacks with 43 others injured.
Dambatta, who claimed he was in Mashimari village to oversee the rescue operations, said women were mostly affected by the attacks.
He equally lamented that going by the severity of the injuries, the death toll might rise.
Â He however, said most of the victims were evacuated to medical facilities in Maiduguri and Konduga.
Another source, Bunu Bukar, the Secretary of the Hunters Association in the state, said three suicide bombers staged the attack after gunshots got villagers fleeing.
Â He said the scene of the attack was not far from the Mandarari Internal Displacement Camp that was attacked last August.
According to Bukar, â€œthe Boko Haram first fired gunshots around 9a.m yesterday, which scared the villagers to run out and head towards Konduga and unknown to the villagers, three suicide bombers sneaked into their midst and blew up.â€
â€œWe donâ€™t have a specific figure of casualties but, itâ€™s definitely high though, emergency aid workers have mobilised and we will be evacuating the victims to Maiduguri any moment from now.
â€œMashimari is the last village before the checkpoint into Konduga town and just few metres away from the Mandarari IDP Camp that was attacked by suicide bombers in August this year,â€ Bukar explained.
Mashimari is a village few metres away from Konduga town, about 30 kilometres away from Maiduguri.
Also, the Caretaker Chairman of Magumeri Local Government Area of the state, Alhaji Abubakar Abdulkadir, yesterday told journalists in Maiduguri that the terrorist group also killed a village chief Imam and four others were slaughtered by suspected Boko Haram members in the state,
Abdulkadir said: â€œThe chief Imam of Kurmiri village and four other persons were slaughtered by suspected members of Boko Haram sect last night (Sunday)â€.
The slain Chief Imam, Ustaz Goni Bukar Tabare, was the elder brother to a popular politician in Magumeri, Mallam Goni Kundube.
Kurmiri village is in Titiwa Ward, about 15 kilometres from Magumeri Local Government Area of the state.
Magumeri has witnessed series of deadly attacks in recent times, including the ambush, killing and abduction of oil exploration workers with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), contracted staff of University of Maiduguri and 15 members of Civilian JTF in Bornoyesu village of council in July this year.
A resident of the village who spoke anonymously to our correspondent, said the suspected Boko Haram members came into the village armed with AK47 rifles, knives and machetes.
He said they however slaughtered the victims with knives, as they believed that using of gun would have alerted many residents who would could have engaged them and repel them.
Abdulkadir who regretted the incident, assured his people that adequate security had been provided and that normalcy had been restored.
He said: â€œWe in Magumeri woke up this morning (Monday) and received a distress call that one of our community witnessed Boko Haram attacks.
â€œFive people were slaughtered including Chief Imam of Kurmiri village. We regretted this attack and we Pray Allah (God) grant Aljanul Firduas to the souls of the deceased and their families to bear the irreparable loss.
â€œI want to commend the effort of our Civilian JTF members, security agencies for their prompt action which led to the apprehension of one of the attackers.
â€œI also want to urge members of the general public not to panic, but go about their businesses as the situation is under control,â€ Abdulkadir stated.
Meanwhile, police in the state have confirmed the killing of a village chief Imam and suicide attacks at a Borno village.
Â The Public Relations Officer of Borno State Police Command, Victor Isuku, in a statement, said: â€œYesterday, at about 2230hrs, some suspects, reasonably believed to be Boko Haram terrorists, attacked Kurumari village, which is about 14 kilometres east of Magumeri town, in Magumeri Local Government Area. Four persons, including the Imam of the village were reportedly killed during the attack.Â
He added that: â€œToday )yesterday), at about 1050hrs, two males and a female suicide bombers, carried out coordinated suicide bomb attacks at different locations in Mashemari village in Konduga Local Government Area. The first explosion occurred when there was sounds of sporadic shooting in a farm.Â In the ensuing stampede, the first bomber detonated. While the other two bombers detonated within the village, and close to the house of the village Head (Bulama). Thirteen persons including the three suicide bombers died in the three explosions, while sixteen persons sustained injuries and were evacuated to General Hospital, Konduga.â€
Isuku revealed that police EOD and SARS teams were mobilised to the scene, and normalcy had been restored