By Billy Graham Abel, Yola
Casualty figure in the weekend attack on Kwapre community, Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State, has risen to seven.
The assailants suspected to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist group also reportedly abducted several persons, torched worship centres and other residential houses.
Local sources said the insurgents who stormed the town in several Hilux vans disguised as military personnels.
Kwapre community and Garkida are at the fringe of the Sambisa forest.
Chairman of Hong Local Government, James Pukuma, said: “The attack carried all the trade marks of Boko Haram insurgents. They came into our town in several trucks, killed and kidnapped men, women and children. The destruction is massive because at least 50 houses were burnt down.
“They razed the market and both primary and secondary schools. They also burnt down every standing church in the town including the LCCN Church, the EYN Church and the Catholic church.”
Asked the number of persons kidnapped, Pukuma replied: “Right now, we cannot hazard any speculations. We cannot confirm the number of persons kidnapped because several persons ran away for safety, so we do not know who is missing or who escaped. But what I can confirm is that they abducted several people. Yesterday, the military were able to rescue three women and six children that were abandoned by the insurgents because they could no longer cope with the stress of the long walk after transporting them out of the community.”
On response of the military, Pukuma said: “The military came in late because they were given a faulty intelligence report that the insurgents were planning an attack on Garkida. After the military moved to secure Garkida, the terrorists attacked Kwapre. The area has communication reception challenge, so it was difficult calling on the military. Right now, there are both military and vigilante personnels patrolling this area.”
Member representing Gombi/Hong constituency at the Federal House of representatives, Yusuf Buba Yakubu, described as an act of cowardice.
“I condemn in very strong terms this latest attack on the innocent and peace loving people of Kwapre community as another senseless and cruel act of cowardice on a community that is renowned for peace, industry and serenity.”
Spokesman of the state police command, DSP Sulaiman Nguroje, confirmed the attack.
This is as the state Emergency Management Agency said the attack has displaced no fewer than 5,000 persons.
Dr. Mohammed Sulaiman, executive secretary of the agency, who announced this in Yola yesterday, said the displacement affected many other neighbouring communities.
District Dead of Dugwaba, Mr. Simon Yakubu, confirmed that the attackers invaded the village at about 1pm.
“During the attack that lasted for more than two hours, more than 20 persons were injured and no fewer than 20 persons kidnapped by the attackers. Places of worship, schools, shops food stores and village head house were destroyed.”
He said the injured had been receiving treatment at Hong General Hospital, while two persons who were critically injured by gunshot had been referred to Federal Medical Centre, Yola.
He also recalled that in 2014, Kwapre village was attacked and destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents.