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Askira-Uba under siege as ISWAP insurgents attack village after village and town after town in the area

9 December 2021
Reading time: 3 minutes

Insurgents, thought to be members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have attacked another village in the Askira-Uba Local Government Area in Borno State.

This time the fighters attacked Rumirgo village.

A resident, Saratu Hamman, told RNI reporter Aisha Jamal that the insurgents stormed the village on motorcycles and one vehicle at about 4.45pm on Tuesday, December 7.

“We had just got back from the farm when we heard loud gunshots. At first we thought it was the soldiers who are staying in the village to protect us. But the shots intensified and then we saw the insurgents. It was then that we all started running to the bush for safety.”

She said the fighters invaded the town through a route where there were no soldiers.

“It was terrifying. Men, women and children crying loudly ran to the bush. Some parents have not even returned from the bush. I think they fear they will be attacked on their farms.”

Hamman said there were a large number of fighters all of whom were heavily armed. They rode on motorbikes and kept on shooting non-stop in the village while people were running or trying to hide.

“It is amazing they did not kill anyone or destroy any facilities. While we were running into the bush, we heard the soldiers starting to exchange fire with the insurgents. It went on for about an hour and a half. But no one was killed and no buildings were burnt down and destroyed.”

Hamman said the insurgents had stolen two army vehicles.

Recently, there have been a number of attacks in the Askira-Uba Local Government Area.

“That is why troops have been stationed here in Rumirgo village to guard us. A group of hunters have also been providing security,” Hamman said.

“We are living in deep fear. We never know when or where another attack will happen. We are afraid for ourselves but even more so for our children. We have some vigilantes around but often they do not get paid for protecting us and they go to our farms and take our food. We are begging the government to provide more troops so they are stationed at all the routes leading to Rumirgo. Then we will be protected from all sides.”

Hamman said the village was calm again but all the residents were afraid they would be attacked again.

“It’s frightening and we live with fear all the time. We all fear the sound of motorcycles and haphazard shooting because then we know the fighters are on their way.”

About the author

Aisha Sd Jamal