Four persons have been found dead, while a search for missing persons is ongoing, following an attack by suspected insurgents linked to the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) on Kautikari community in Chibok LGA of Borno.
According to residents, the insurgents invaded the area around 5pm on Friday with different of weapons and started shooting sporadically.
Some of the villagers who spoke to TheCable said the insurgents set houses ablaze, and residents had to run to the bushes for safety.
“They first went to the market area as today is our market day, and they looted almost everything,” one of the villagers said.
“After that, they set the market on fire. And then they started burning the houses. They also burnt this big church in the village.”
Another source said when the insurgents arrived, the army’s 28 task force brigade headquarters was contacted but there was no immediate response “and the attack lasted more than two hours”.
Although the village is about 17 kilometres away from the army brigade headquarters in Chibok, TheCable understands that there is an army company under the 117 battalion stationed in Kwada, not too far from the scene of the attack.
A company is a military formation usually made up of at least 80 soldiers.
“We know it could take time for troops to mobilise from the brigade, but we were shocked that the company that was just one kilometre away didn’t move an inch to help,” the source said.
The villagers said they had also reached the air force, and a fighter jet came to the area after the insurgents had left.
Meanwhile, troops are on the ground conducting a search-and-rescue operation.
“Four dead bodies have been found, and an unknown number of women and girls have been abducted. The insurgents also took a number of tricycles belonging to the villagers,” another resident added.
The development comes months after Dzarma Zirkushu, a brigadier-general and commander of the 28 task force brigade was killed, alongside three soldiers, in an ambush in Askira, also in Borno.
Onyema Nwachukwu, army spokesperson, did not immediately respond to a message seeking his comment on the development.