From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Dozens of Nigerian refugees in neighbouring Niger Republic have been killed following a Boko Haram attack on their shelters.
The attack occurred weekend but details did not get to Borno, the epicentre of over a decade insurgency, until late Monday.
The insurgents invaded Toumour, a remote community in northern part of Niger, security sources and local officials told Daily Sun.
More than 30, 000 civilians from Abadam Local Government, an area around the Lake Chad shore flee to Nigerien territory in the wake of Boko Haram incessant attack on their homes. Many of them have been taking refugee in remote communities and refugee camps, some aid workers told Daily Sun
In a video believed to have been released by Boko Haram, the terror group claimed responsibility for the attack. It puts the casualty figure at 27 though many in Borno suspected the figure may be higher.
Meanwhile, traditional rulers from north and southern parts of Nigeria have paid a sympathy visit to Borno State.
The team led by Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, urged government to find a lasting solutions to the Boko Haram menace in the area
The Sultan who is also the Co-Chairman, National Council of Traditional Rulers, was in Maiduguri with Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemaka Alfred Ugochukwu; Oba Adekunle Adebayo, Ore of Otin; the Emir of Hadeja, Dr. Adamu Abubakar Maje; the Emir of Fika, Mohammed Abale Ibn Mohammed Idrissa and Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom, King Dr. Dandasen Douglas Jaja.
Meanwhile in Oyo State Police Command yesterday confirmed the death of a soldier and a civilian in their attempt to rescue a Lebanese,Hassan Mills, from his abductors.
Police spokesman in the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, said in a statement that gunmen abducted Mills on Saturday as he was getting to his Panorama Farms at Oke Alaro area of Ibadan.
He said a combined team of security operatives of Operation Burst invited to the scene of abduction found the two corpses on Sunday while combing the surrounding forest to effect the release of Mills.
He said: “Not too long, one army lieutenant sustained gunshot injury on his right lap and was immediately taken to the hospital, while an aide of Mills escaped during exchange of gunfire.”
Fadeyi observed the movement of foreign nationals were not always made known to the police to enable professional advice to be given appropriately.
“Also, negotiations with captors are always concealed from the police,’’ he added.
He assured that efforts would be intensified to secure the release of Mills and the arrest of his abductors.
However, Director-General of Operation Burst, Col Oladipo Ajibola (retd), told Daily Sun on telephone yesterday that no soldier lost his life during the rescue operation. He stated, however, that one soldier that sustained injury is receiving medical attention “and he is recuperating.”
Ajibola said an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) lost his life during the rescue operation. Operation Burst is jointly operated by soldiers and men of NSCDC.
The public relations officer of NSCDC in the state, Oluwole Olusegun, could not be reached for comment, as he neither picked calls made to his mobile number nor replied a text message sent to him as at the time of filing this report.
When Daily Sun got back to Fadeyi on the position of Operation Burst, he simply said: “If that is what they said, no problem.”
The Lebanese, who owns Panorama Farm, Mekun, Oke Alaro area of Ibadan, was kidnapped on Saturday December 12 at about 5.23pm at the entrance of his farm by gunmen, who shot sporadically before taking him into the forest.
The police spokesperson said in a swift response, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Oke Alaro, combed the forest with a view to rescuing the victim from his captors and also arrest the culprits.
“Consequent upon this, a team of Operation Burst, which was invited by the company arrived the area and proceeded to the forest.”