At least two persons have been confirmed dead and 12 others injured in another attack by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.
Four humanitarian workers were reported killed and two others abducted in an earlier attack on Sunday on a village near Maiduguri, the state capital.
The latest attack was on communities on the outskirts of Biu, a major local government headquarters in the state, health officials said.
Biu is the headquarters of the local government area of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, and the Commander, Multi-National Joint Task Force, Abdulmalik Biu.
Last night, the quiet town located 185 kilometres southwest of Maiduguri came under attack by gunmen who had overrun Matahari and Yamarkumi villages at its outskirts.
The insurgents reportedly made their way into Biu using the abandoned Damboa-Biu highway.
Sources from Biu who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on phone said the attacked commenced at about 7 p.m on the villages.
“We had to run back to our house here in Biu as the shooting continued,” said Muhammed Liberia, a youth vigilante.
Mr Liberia said the shooting lasted about three hours until the military reportedly confronted the invaders and halted their march into Biu.
The military has not issued any statement in this regard to confirming the claim.
The deputy governor of Borno State, Umar Kadafur, was in Biu, his hometown, when the attack took place. A source in his entourage said the shooting commenced a few hours after they arrived Biu.
A member of the Civilian JTF informed Premium Times that “the two persons killed in the attack were hit by a stray bullet in their house in Yamarkumi.”
He said a military gun truck that broke down during the attack was burnt down by the insurgents.
“But the soldiers were able to remove the arms and ammunition on the truck before the Boko Haram members set them ablaze.”
The source also informed PREMIUM TIMES that a fighter jet that later came to help the ground troops was able to “destroy some of the Boko Haram insurgents’ vehicles while they were fleeing away.”
He said many of the insurgents were killed, “but their bodies were taken away by their colleagues.”
The deputy governor on Tuesday visited Biu General Hospital where some of the victims of the attack were receiving medical treatment.
At the hospital, the state commissioner of health, Salisu Kwaya-Bura, who was also in the town at the time of the attack, informed the deputy governor that “13 persons sustained various degrees of injuries as a result of stray bullets while trying to escape for their dear lives.”
Mr Kwaya-Bura also said, “two persons died, which bring the total number of casualties to 15.”
Though the health commissioner had said that the 13 injured persons have received treatment and were in stable condition, the deputy governor directed that those with cases requiring service of X-ray machines be transferred to the nearest private hospital where such service is available.
The deputy governor gave N50,000 cash to each victim of the attack with the promise that all their medical bills would be footed by the state government.
Mr. Kadafur commended the staffers of the hospital for their immediate response that saved the lives of many of the victims in critical condition.
Biu, the seat of the Nigeria Army University and local government area of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, as well as the Commander, Multi-National Joint Task Force, Abdulmalik Biu, is being attacked by Boko Haram for the first time in about two years.