Over 150 people including 38 cops killed in Boko Haram raid in Nigeria
KANO (Nigeria): More than 150 people, including 38
police persons, died in a Boko Haram raid on the northeast Nigerian city of
Damaturu this week, officials told AFP on Wednesday.
A senior rescue official and a medical source at the
city’s Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital said 115 bodies were brought to the
morgue after Monday’s attack, although it was not clear whether they were
insurgents or civilians.
All 115 were in civilian clothing, but it was not
certain whether they were all non-combatants, the sources said. Among the dead
were two medical doctors, a staff member of the federal polytechnic in the Yobe
state capital, and his two children.
Six soldiers were also killed, the sources added.
Emmanuel Ojukwu, spokesman for Nigeria’s federal police, said “Out of the
police, we have 38 deaths.”
Most of the police killed were at the mobile police
base in the Gujba Road area of the city, Ojukwu said, confirming eye-witness
testimony from residents that the facility was attacked.
One local man, Umar Sada, said at the time that the
gunmen, who began their attack at about 4:45 am (0345 GMT) on Monday, burnt
down the police barracks.
The heavy loss of life came after an increase in mass
casualty attacks blamed on the militants, who have been fighting since 2009 to
establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria.
Also on Monday, two female suicide bombers blew
themselves up at a market in the Borno state capital, Maidiguri – less than a
week after two other women killed more than 45 at the same location.
Last Friday, two suicide bombers and gunmen killed at
least 120 worshippers at the central mosque in the northern city of Kano, which
has been repeatedly hit by Boko Haram attacks in the past.
Neither the military nor the state government in Yobe
said they were in a position to comment on the casualty figures when contacted
by AFP. But civilian vigilantes operating in Damaturu claimed on Monday that
more than 40 Boko Haram gunmen had been killed in the fighting.
The medical source said it was ‘likely’ that most of
the 115 were insurgents.
He added, “Rescue teams are still looking in the bush
around the city for more bodies. It's believed that people might have died from
gunshot wounds while trying to flee.” The senior rescue official said 78 people
were injured. Of those 53 were treated and discharged.