BY KAZIE UKO
No fewer than 52 persons have been reportedly killed in the northern Nigeria states of Borno, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger, within the last 48 hours.
Also, several numbers of citizens were reported abducted while many houses were burnt, about 20 cows rustled and some poultry carted away.
It was however not a totally field day for the insurgents as security men were said to have mauled down dozens of the terrorists and bandits in the various locations where the attacks occurred.
In Borno, death toll in a rocket attack on Maiduguri, Tuesday night, is said to have risen to 16 with over 60 injured persons in hospitals receiving treatment.
A survivor in Kaleri/Adam Kolo, one of the densely populated area affected by the attack in the metropolis, Alhaji Musa Kolomi, 71, said: “We were sitting just before magrib (evening) prayers, when we saw something (rocket) coming from a distance and it fell in the middle of the road. It tore the car that was parked there into pieces and those of us that were there got affected by the impact of the explosion.
“A man carrying a mat to go to the mosque got hit and his skull was opened and he died instantly. Then the rest of us sustained injuries. My leg was injured, while two boys hit in the head were rushed to University of Maiduguri Teachning Hospital, UMTH.”
Another survivor in Gwange, Abubakar Mohammed, said: “I was just standing in front of my house in Layin bori, near COCIN church, when something that looked like a rocket landed before me. There were several of us there, some of the people even got killed instantly.”
Bandits killed 36 people in two separate attacks in the villages of Kaduna and Katsina states on Wednesday, while several others were injured. The assailants also burnt down houses, displacing the villagers.
The attacks came as both the federal and state governments are still negotiating with bandits over the release of 42 students and staff of Government Science Secondary School, Kagara, Niger State, last week.
The students and their teachers were abducted from the school’s hostel at about 2am. One student tragically lost his life as he was shot dead by the gunmen as he tried to run for safety.
Still in Niger State, a gang of gunmen reportedly attacked and killed a Police Inspector from the top of a tree and injured three other officers.
It was gathered that the policemen drafted to protect travellers along Minna-Suleja road were attacked Tuesday evening at Kaffinkoro junction on the busy highway.
The policemen were said to have mounted a checkpoint on the highway when the bandits pumped bullets on them from the top of a tree, leaving the Inspector dead and injuring three others.
The latest attacks come less than a month after President Muhammadu Buhari replaced his long-standing military chiefs amid worsening violence, with the armed forces fighting to reclaim some northern Nigeria towns and communities overrun by insurgents.