AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
27 February, 2014
Scores of suspected Boko Haram Islamists armed with grenade launchers and explosives razed a town in Nigeria’s
embattled northeast, killing two people,
including a child, witnesses told AFP on
Residents in Michika, in Adamawa state,
said people fled to the nearby foothills
when the attackers dressed in military
uniforms stormed the town in four-
wheel drive trucks and motorcycles. Boko Haram gunmen have previously disguised themselves in military fatigues during the group’s four-and-half-year uprising which has killed thousands.
Michika resident Abdul Kassim said
militants arrived at about 9:30 pm (2030
GMT) on Wednesday, “armed with RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) and
explosives which they hurled
indiscriminately at homes and public
buildings”. The attack reportedly lasted for more than four hours.
Kassim said in an account supported by other witnesses that one boy was killed
while trying to run away and that a
security guard was shot dead as the
gunmen forced their way into a bank.The military in Adamawa declined to comment on the attack.
Adamawa is one of three northeastern
states placed under emergency rule in
May last year following waves of Boko
Haram attacks. The top military commander in the state last week ordered the complete closure of the border with Cameroon in hopes of blocking the movements of insurgents
The ongoing military offensive has failed to crush the insurgency and nearly 300
people have been killed in a range of
attacks already this year. On Tuesday, 43 people, most of them students, were killed in an attack on a secondary school in Yobe state, also in the northeast.
Michika residents said they believed the
attackers came from Nigeria’s Borno
state, the Islamist group’s stronghold, not from neighbouring Cameroon. “As soon as we heard a barrage of gunshots and blasts of explosives we ran out of our homes to the hilltops overlooking the town,” said Amos Buzu.
Various residents said the attackers razed four banks, hundreds of shops, a
police station, government buildings and dozens of homes. One witness, who requested anonymity, said Michika looked like a “war zone” after the raid that destroyed some 90 percent of all businesses.