A survivor hidden in a tree says he watched Boko Haram extremists firebomb huts and heard the screams of children burning to death, among 86 people who officials say died in an attack by Nigeria’s homegrown Islamic extremists.
Scores of burned corpses and bodies with bullet wounds lined the streets after Saturday night’s attack on Dalori village and two nearby camps housing 25,000 refugees, according to survivors and soldiers. The site is just 3 miles from Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram and the biggest city in Nigeria’s northeast.
The shooting and burning continued for nearly four hours in the unprotected area, survivor Alamin Bakura said, weeping in a telephone interview. He said several of his family members were killed or wounded.
Later, three female suicide bombers detonated their explosives among people who managed to flee to neighboring Gamori village, killing many people.
Troops arrived at Dalori about 8:40 p.m. Saturday but were unable to overcome the attackers, who were better armed, soldiers said. The Boko Haram fighters retreated only after reinforcements arrived with heavier weapons.
Boko Haram has been attacking soft targets, increasingly with suicide bombers, since the military last year drove them out of towns and villages in northeastern Nigeria.
The six-year Islamic uprising has killed about 20,000 people and driven 2.5 million from their homes.