Over 100,000 Borno Indigenes Flee To Niger Republic Following ISWAP Attack On Damasak

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Following the ISWAP attack on Damasak town in Mobbar local government area of Borno State on Wednesday, over 100,000 residents fled into the neighbouring Niger Republic.

Daily Trust reports that at least 10 people were killed in the attack, with many wounded and thousands of others wandering in the bush.

It was also learnt that hundreds of houses of the civilian population, their shops and government buildings including police divisional headquarters have been burnt to ashes by the invaders.

Wednesday’s attack on Damasak was the sixth in the last two weeks.

While there has been no official statement from the military, sources told the publication that the terrorists finally hoisted their flags on Wednesday, and were still in the town till the early hours of Thursday.

Damasak, situated 188 kilometres from Maiduguri, is a strategic town in the northern part of Borno, bordering Niger Republic and other LGAs on the shores of Lake Chad.

The Street Journal had earlier reported that the ISWAP insurgents invaded the town in three gun trucks on Wednesday afternoon while others who rode in threes on motorcycles, wielding Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs), went straight to the military base.

Completely confused, some of the residents headed for relatively safer villages in Nigeria and others crossed over to neighbouring towns in Niger Republic and adjoining villages.

Women, some of them pregnant and others carrying babies on their backs, with smaller children trailing them were reportedly the worst affected as they left their homes completely unprepared and trekked many kilometres in search of safety.

Displaced people from Damasak heading for Niger Republic yesterday. Photo: Captured from amateur video
Displaced people from Damasak heading for Niger Republic yesterday.
Photo: Captured from amateur video

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Reacting to the development, the Senator representing Borno North in the National Assembly, Abubakar Kyari, told reporters that the town had been overrun by the insurgents who stormed the area around 1 pm.

Kyari, who led a delegation of members both from the national and state assemblies from the area to the Maiduguri Government House where they met with Governor Babagana Zulum behind closed doors, later told reporters that the terrorists were in Damasak.

“We are aware of the attack last night, they (Boko Haram) burnt several houses and some people lost their lives. Some people sustained bullet wounds and many properties set on fire.

“But most disturbing reports that we received this afternoon is that they are back in Damasak now, from about 1 pm and they are still there as of 1745hrs, so this is the latest reports. There is a brigade there but the town was sacked yesterday.

“The reports we received was that they have buried 10 people and 20 people have been wounded, so the people have fled the town.

“The people are desirous of staying in Damasak but because of the insecurity, some have fled to the bush and others to neighbouring Niger for safety but we came here to meet with the governor with all members of the House of Representatives.

“Our major concern is the safety and welfare of our people…We feel their pain, we feel their hardship and we want to give them the assurance that the government is up and doing”

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