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Armed groups kill 16 people in three deadly attacks in the Borno and Yobe states on New Year’s Day

4 January 2024
Reading time: 4 minutes

Deadly start to the year as insurgents kill 14 people in Borno’s Chibok district and two more die in attack on checkpoint in Gujba in Yobe State.

Armed groups have killed 16 people in three separate attacks on New Year’s Day, two in the Chibok district in Borno State and one in Gujba in Yobe State.
Heavily armed insurgents dressed in military-style uniforms arrived on eight motorbikes – two astride each bike – and in a Hilux truck at about 4.50pm on Monday, January 1, in Gatamarwa village in the Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State.

Residents did not know if the insurgents were members of the Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād (JAS), better known as Boko Haram, or the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), but said the attackers were shooting haphazardly in all directions.

A resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said the insurgents arrived in large numbers carrying sophisticated weapons. He said the insurgents looted food and other valuables before setting houses alight.

Eleven people were killed and two people were wounded and are being treated at the Askira Uba General Hospital.

The resident said that in a second attack, members of the nearby Tsiha village community were returning from a funeral in Gatamarwa when they were attacked by what was thought to be the same mob of insurgents.

“Suddenly everyone started hearing gunshots. They were running to save their lives. The attackers entered Tsiha on eight motorbikes and in the Hilux truck. There were two insurgents on each of the motorbikes. They were all heavily armed. Three residents were mowed down instantly.”

Markus Alheri, who comes from Gatamarwa but is now living in Tsiha, told RNI that there were no security forces deployed in either of the villages and residents relied on the assistance of local vigilantes.

“As I am speaking to you now, there is no security presence in Gatamarwa or Tsiha. People are so terrified by the attack on Monday. We don’t know what to do next and some people are planning to leave the villages to go to safer places because we don’t know if or when the insurgents will return. It could happen at any time.”

Gatamarwa village, which is 15km from Chibok town in the southern part of Borno State, has witnessed several attacks from the suspected JAS members in the past.
In March 2019, suspected JAS insurgents burnt down the only healthcare facility in the village.

Confirming the incidents, Assistant Superintendent Nahum Daso Kenneth, the Borno State police public relations officer, said 11 people lost their lives and two were wounded in the Gatamarwa attack and three were killed in the Tsiha attack.

Also on Monday, insurgents attacked Gujba in the southern part of Yobe State.
Residents told RNI that heavily armed attackers, suspected of being members of the JAS, stormed the town at about 10pm.
The attack started at a civilian joint task force (CJTF) checkpoint.

Modu Goni, a resident, said: “The insurgents killed one truck driver and injured his conductor. The men were on their way to Maiduguri, but it was late, and the exit gates were closed, so they decided to spend the night in Gujba.

“The attack began at the checkpoint. There was fierce fighting and we heard many gunshots. We were terrified because the heavy gunshots reminded us of the 2014 attacks by armed groups. At least 49 schoolchildren from the Federal Government Collage in Gujba were killed.”
Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons, confirmed Monday night’s attack.

“Suspected JAS members attacked a truck driver at the checkpoint at about 10pm. The driver was shot instantly and died on the scene. The severely wounded conductor succumbed to his wounds and died a while later.”

Adamu Aliyu Ngulde

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Elvis Mugisha