At least 60 people killed in Islamic militant attack in northeast Nigeria


Islamic militants killed about 60 people in north-east Nigeria in a twin attack on Saturday, just days after the massacre of 69 villagers in the same area.

At least 20 soldiers and more than 40 civilians and injured hundreds in twin attacks in the Monguno and Nganzai districts of Borno state. In an earlier raid the militants killed at least 69 people in a third area of Gubio.

Humanitarian workers and residents told Reuters that militants armed with heavy weaponry including rocket launchers arrived in Monguno, a hub for international non-governmental organisations, at roughly 11am local time.

The militants overran government forces, taking some casualties but killing at least 20 soldiers and roaming the area for three hours.

The sources said hundreds of civilians were injured in the crossfire, overwhelming the local hospital and forcing some of the injured to lay outside the facility awaiting help.

The sources said the militants also set fire to the local police station and burned down the United Nations’ humanitarian hub in the area, although a UN spokesperson said the facility sustained only light damage.

Fighters distributed letters to residents, in the local Hausa language, warning them not to work with the military, white Christian westerners or other “non-believers”.

Militants also entered Nganzai at about the same time on Saturday, according to two residents and one Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) fighter. They arrived on motorcycles and in pickup trucks and killed more than 40 residents, the sources said.

A military spokesman did not answer calls for comment on the attacks. UN officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Boko Haram and its offshoot, Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have killed thousands and displaced millions in northeastern Nigeria. ISWAP claimed the two Saturday attacks, and the Gubio attack. (Source: The Guardian)