Survivors from Mondays’ insurgents attack in Gamboru Ngala, a town on the Cameroon border, on Wednesday narrates their ordeal to newsmen.
Some of the survivors, who said the sect members sacked the town in armoured trucks and on motorcycles, express fears that the town is too dangerous for locals to return to immediately.
According to a witness, Musa Abba, traders were burned alive in their stalls, whole families murdered as their homes were set ablaze.
He said the sect members opened fire on fleeing civilians, adding that hundreds of dead bodies littered the town.
Meanwhile, Senator Ahmed Zanna put the death toll at 300, citing information provided by locals, in an account supported by numerous residents.
“We have been collecting bodies from all over the town, on the streets and in burnt homes” Abba said. “Nine members of a family were burnt alive in their home”.
Babagana Goni, another resident said he counted 30 bodies on the streets before returning home, unable to withstand the sight.
“Some bodies are burnt beyond recognition,” he said. “Some of the bodies were shot while others had their throats slit, which made me sick” he said. “I couldn’t continue the count”.
According to Abba, Gamboru Ngala has been attacked repeatedly in the past, but this he described as the worst attack he had seen.
Responding, Senator Zanna said the town had been left unguarded because soldiers based there had been redeployed to join the rescue mission of over 234 school girls that were abducted by insurgents members on April 14.
The abduction has, however, sparked international outrage, as Nigeria has gotten help offers from the United States, Britain, France and China in rescuing the girls, as well as tackle security threat posed by the islamist sect.
Still Recovering Bodies
According to Goni, villagers have been conducting funerals for the dead since Tuesday, adding that they are gradually realising the scale of the killings as more and more bodies emerged.
“The town has buried more than 150 people and rescue teams are still recovering more bodies, particularly in the market” he said. “Many traders were burnt alive in their shops where they hid when sounds of gunfire and explosions broke out in the town”.
He said the dead included traders from neighbouring Cameroon and Chad, whose relatives had since recovered their bodies for burial at home.
Senator Zanna said the town’s economic and business centres had been destroyed, with its market, which was a hub for traders from all over the region completely burned.
Meanwhile, following Monday’s attack, Cameroon’s military has reinforce security along the Nigerian border, a medical source from the border town of Fotokol, who requested anonymity disclosed.
“The toll is very heavy. We believe there are more than 200 dead” the source said, adding that some 2,000 Nigerians, including soldiers had fled to Cameroon, and that some 30 bodies had been transported to the town.
“People had their throats slit, others were shot” the source said. “Some of the bodies were charred. It was horrific”.
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