At least 22 persons were killed in separate attacks this week by suspected Boko Haram gunmen in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State, security sources said.
The attacks were carried out between Monday and Tuesday, according to a top official of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria in Borno State, Abbas Gava.
The vigilante usually work with soldiers to secure Borno, and the government has said many of them will be recruited into the army after the Boko Haram is defeated.
The source informed PREMIUM TIMES that the villages of Dasa and Duwabayi, both in Monguno Local Government Area, were attacked by the Boko Haram insurgents.
“We received the sad information from our colleagues operating in Monguno who said on Monday that gunmen attacked Dasa, a village about 3km away from Monguno during which they killed nine persons”, said Mr. Gava who also functions as the spokesman of the local vigilante group in the state.
“On Tuesday night, again, the gunmen went to attack Duwabayi, another village not far away from Dasa, where they killed 13 persons – making it a total of 22 dead casualties. The gunmen who stormed the villages in large numbers ensured that they burnt down every building in the two villages”.
Mr. Gava added that members of his vigilante group on Wednesday in Monguno arrested one of the notorious amirs (commander) of Boko Haram whom they reportedly handed over to the soldiers in Monguno.
He said residents of the two villages fled their homes in the wake of the attacks.
The local government headquarters, also called Monguno, fell under the control of Boko Haram on January 25, 2015 when the insurgents overran the town and the 243 Battalion barracks there.
After Nigerian soldiers retook the barracks, it was upgraded to its present 8th Task Force Division, Nigeria Army.
The spokesman of the 8th Task Force Division, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, who usually communicates through WhatsApp, was not available to speak on the attacks.
The Boko Haram attacks have continued despite continued negotiations with the federal government for the release of the kidnapped Chibok girls.
Twenty one of the over 200 girls kidnapped from Chibok in Borno State in 2014 have already been released by the insurgents.
The federal government recently denied it paid ransom to free the girls.