Boko Haram militants kill 20 people in Nigeria

Twenty people have been killed in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state by Boko Haram militants

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Boko Haram appearing in a video distributed by the militant group

Boko Haram militants have killed 20 people on Wednesday at a village in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state.

Villagers said that a group of Boko Haram militants, driving pick-up trucks and motorcycles opened fire at four cars on a road in Jingalta village, 70 kilometres (45 miles) north of Maiduguri.

"We received information of an attack by Boko Haram gunmen on four cars near Jingalta village where they shot dead all 20 occupants of the vehicles before setting the cars ablaze," Babakura Kolo said.

Kolo is a member of a local group assisting the Nigerian military in fighting Boko Haram in Maiduguri.

"The gunmen were fleeing a military operation against one of their enclaves in the area around 9:30 am (0830GMT) when they came across the vehicles on the highway and opened fire on them," Kolo said.

The militants started fires and burnt the entire village, forcing the residents to flee following the attack, Kolo added.

"When we arrived at Jingalta village, we found it smouldering, with everything completely burnt and just outside the village we saw bodies sprawled by the roadside, 20 of them in all," Jibir Hassan, a bus driver who arrived at the village after the militants had fled said, confirming the death toll.

At least 17,000 people have been killed by Boko Haram since 2009. More than 600 people have been killed in Nigeria alone since President Muhammadu Buhari's inauguration at the end of May.

Nigeria’s newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to eliminate Boko Haram after he was sworn in at the end of May. He has flown to the United States to meet with President Barack Obama to ask for increased US military assistance for fighting the militant group.

Boko Haram - which has announced its allegiance to ISIS - occupied an area the size of Belgium in Nigeria last year.

Nigeria’s former President Goodluck Jonathan was accused of dithering and incompetence in containing the armed insurgency, particularly after the kidnapping of more than 200 girls from a school in the town of Chibok in April last year.

Nigeria, alongside military coalition partners of Niger, Chad and Cameroon has claimed successes in fighting Boko Haram since February, forcing the group’s fighters out of the territory it used to control.

TRTWorld and agencies