- Boko Haram's campaign of terror seems to be on a rise in recent times
- This is despite the assurances of the Nigerian military that the terrorists have been technically defeated
- The insurgents focused on fishermen in their latest attack
There are indications that at least 31 fishermen have been killed by Boko Haram in two separate attacks in the Lake Chad boundary area near Borno state.
A report on Vanguard quoted fishermen and vigilantes fighting the Islamist group confirming the incident on Monday, August 7.
According to the report, Boko Haram stormed the fishing islands of Duguri and Dabar Wanzam in the freshwater lake on Saturday, August 5 attacking fishermen working in the area and shooting their victims.
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“Boko Haram attacked Duguri and Dabar Wanzam islands and killed 31 people,” a member of a local militia fighting the terrorists in Maiduguri, Babakura Kolo said.
“They (Boko Haram) killed 14 in Duguri and another 17 in Dabar Wanzam,” Kolo added.
The fishermen were said to have returned to the fishing hub of Baga on the lake’s shores days earlier and had paddled out to the two islands in wooden canoes on Friday, August 4, looking for fish.
News of the attacks was slow to emerge with communication in the area difficult as Boko Haram has destroyed telecom masts in the region in attacks over the last few years.
Boko Haram first attacked Duguri island where they killed 12 fishermen and injured two others who later died, said fisherman Sallau Inuwa.
“The attackers split into two groups. While the first attacked Duguri the second went to nearby Dabar Wanzam where they laid in wait for those who fled the attack in Duguri. They killed 17 in Dabar Wanzam,” Inuwa stated.
The attackers spared one fisherman in Duguri and loaded the 12 bodies of the men they killed in a canoe and ordered him to take them to Baga as a warning that no one should fish in the lake, said another fisherman Dauda Tukur.
“They told the man they spared to inform the troops in Baga that they were waiting for them on the islands,” he said.
The military and Nigerian officials have not yet commented on the attacks.
The attacks happened a week after military authorities lifted a two-year ban on fishing in the freshwater lake that straddles Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
Nigerian military banned fishing on the Nigerian side of the lake following accusations that Boko Haram was using proceeds from fishing to fund its armed campaign.
The ban left thousands of displaced residents impoverished, forcing them to rely on food handouts from government and aid agencies.
The lifting of the ban drew many fisherman back to the area.
Meanwhile, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state on Tuesday, August 8 confirmed that Boko Haram insurgents had killed 31 fishermen at Baga in Kukawa local government area of the state.
Shettima made the confirmation at the presentation of relief materials donated to the state by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to the Internally Displaced Persons in Maiduguri.
He said that the attack indicated that the Boko Haram insurgents were still unleashing terror, killing and maiming people in the Lake Chad Basin.
Shettima noted that the military and other security agencies were yet to verify the report.
“Somebody called me this morning and informed me that the insurgents had killed 31 fishermen in the Lake Chad Basin.
“The security agencies have not commented on the attack; so, you cannot confirm it.
“This shows the level of crisis we faced in Borno, as the so-called Jihadists continued with their inhuman acts in the Lake Chad basin,” Shettima said.
He, however, commended the efforts of the military toward ending insurgency and ensuring that peace returned to the North-East region.
About two weeks ago, NAIJ.com reported that one civilian and four Boko Haram terrorists were killed in a bomb attack in Meme, Mayo-Sava, Far North Cameroon.
The incident was revealed by international investigative journalist and traditional ruler, Chief Bisong Etahoben, via his Twitter page.
Watch the NAIJ.com TV video of survivours of Boko Haram's attacks: