World Bulletin/News Desk
Suspected Boko Haram militants launched fierce reprisal attacks on villages across Nigeria's northeastern Borno State, killing at least 43 people, according to survivors and police sources.
"We buried about 23 people in our village," Kawu Barawu, a survivor of the Kala Balge village attack, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday morning by phone.
He said the militants attacked their village between 3am and 7am on Saturday.
"That death toll could have been higher but for the resistance posed by the vigilantes who lost many of their members," said Barawu.
He said the militants were avenging comrades killed during an earlier attack on the village.
Vigilantes had recently subdued and killed several insurgents in recent Boko Haram raid on the community, drawing nationwide applause including from the presidency and security forces who hailed the valiance of the Kala Balge people.
Abdul Jalal, a member of the local civilian joint task force, confirmed the reprisal attacks.
"The worst hit was Kala Balge where vigilantes were descended on and killed in their numbers by visibly angry terrorists who said they were on revenge mission," he told AA.
"No fewer than 23 people were killed in Kala Balge alone, including villagers," said Jalal.
He added that the village was attacked by up to 400 militants armed with different "dangerous weapons well beyond our people's reach."
A police source said at least three other villages in northeastern Borno State were also targeted.
"We are told about 20 were killed across the three villages and people have sought refuge with their Cameroonian neighbors," the source told AA, requesting anonymity for not be authorized to talk to the media.
"They [militants] completely burnt down these communities claiming to want to avenge their colleagues recently killed or arrested in Kala Balge," added the source.
The villages are on basically border communities overlooking Cameroon. They often share the same markets with their Cameroonian neighbors and the essay escape to the francophone nation underscores the porosity of the border long exploited by Boko Haram.Last Mod: 01 Haziran 2014, 12:17