Report gathered that, Boko Haram militants fleeing a Nigerian army offensive killed 21 people on Friday in attacks near the northern village of Chibok, close to where the rebels abducted more than 200 schoolgirls last year.
The rebels were fleeing a land and air offensive to clear them out of the Sambisa forest when they raided the villages of Gatamarwa, Makalama and Layhawul and opened fire on terrified residents, the source said.
Boko Haram fighters in many parts of Nigeria and the region are on the run, after being subjected to a major military offensive on all sides by Nigeria and its neighbours Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Nigerian warplanes bombarded insurgent training camps and caches of their weapons and vehicles in Sambisa on Thursday.
But when Boko Haram, which is fighting to carve an Islamic state out of Africa’s biggest economy, feels threatened, the civilian population often becomes a target. The security source said the insurgents fleeing the Sambisa operation had taken revenge on the civilian population. “They surrounded the market and started shooting,” said Chibok resident and farmer Maina Chibok, who visited the Gatamarwa area afterwards. “There was pandemonium everywhere and more than 10 people were killed.”