Boko Haram fighters on Sunday killed no fewer than 30 people who were travelers that spent the night in Auno, a community 25km away from Maiduguri. The attack which lasted for four-hours claimed many lives including that of a mother and an infant, who were reportedly burnt beyond recognition.
According to multiple reports, 22 people were abducted and about18 vehicles and properties worth millions of naira were set ablaze. Witnesses said that the entire village was almost set ablaze.
According to witnesses, the siege started at around 9.50 pm when hundreds of travelers who were stopped by soldiers manning the road around 4.45 pm on Sunday were asleep. The travelers were allegedly made to suspend their journeys even though it was not yet time for curfew which normally starts from 6pm and ends at 6am unless there were other issues.
In a statement, President Buhari condemns the attack which said “The commitment of this administration to protect the lives of Nigerians will not be derailed by the cowardly and indiscriminate violence against innocent people by Boko Haram terrorists”.
According to one of the survivors of the incident, “Within seconds, the flames spread to other trucks including some buses and cars filled with passengers that were sleeping. People were reluctant to go out of their vehicles because gunshots were being fired from all directions, many people could not do anything, they were helpless and that was how they died,”
Another witness recounted the attack saying, “The soldiers locked the town, there was no way travelers could move forward or return to Damaturu to pass the night. “And sadly, the soldiers later left the scene and the attackers came around 9.50 pm and began shooting with RPG’s,”
In a press briefing in Maiduguri, the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, said that they had rescued three children from Boko Haram captivity on Sunday evening.
Ambassador Ahmed Shehu, Chairman of the Network of Civil Society Organization in Borno State (CSOs), called on security agencies to intensify surveillance on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road.