Amidst tears, residents of Daima village in Kala Balge local government area of Borno state yesterday buried nine of their colleagues who were slaughtered by Boko Haram insurgents on Wednesday. Daiman, a border community near Cameroon, is just a few kilometres away from Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge where Nigeria Air Force fi ghter jet, on January 17, mistakenly dropped bombs on displaced persons in a camp.
At least 100 persons were reportedly killed. Th e attack was described as “a mistake” on the part of the pilot who did not get the correct coordinates on the location of Boko Haram fi ghters who were said to be gathering at a spot not far away from the IDPs camp in Rann.
Hundreds of the villagers who escaped the Wednesday attack fl ed into Cameroon. Many who made it to the IDPs camp in Rann are currently being treated for various degrees of wounds by medics stationed in the camp. Chief Imam of Rann, Ba’liman Goni Guja, informed journalists on the phone that they had to wait for the military to help them pick the corpses because they could not go back to the village.
He narrated how the victims were attacked while they were working on their farms at about 10 0’clock in the morning. He said most of the IDPs in Rann could no longer cope with the insuffi cient food rations being off ered them in the camp, so they decided to go outside the camp to the farm to produce crops to supplement their feeding in the camp.
“Initially, we were informed that the victims were attacked by the Boko Haram gunmen while they were on their way back to the camp after working on their farms but later we got a clearer message from those that survived that the attack took place while they were still on their farms.” Th e Imam said many of the villagers who went out to the farm are yet to be accounted for
. “Many people are still to be accounted for, but the soldiers have released nine corpses, which we buried this morning,” the Chief Imam said. Mommodu Bashir, a trader in Maiduguri who spoke with journalists, said he had relatives who were in the camp and he fears they could be in danger.
“I have not heard from them since Wednesday. We normally communicate sometimes through the Cameroonian telecom system because they are closer to the border. I doubt if it was only nine persons that may have been killed. We learnt that some who managed to escape back to Rann had dagger and gun wounds on their bodies. We pray the others that are yet to be found are safe.” (Premium Times