Report reaching Sunday Tribune in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, indicated that at least 24 youth volunteers, popularly called ‘Civilian JTF,’ were killed in Monguno at the weekend by suspected members of the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, while many other members of the youth volunteer group have been declared missing.
Monguno is about 170 kilometres from Maiduguri in the Northern part of the state and it has witnessed series of activities of the sect members in the past.
Narrating the incident to Sunday Tribune, a sources said, “the vigilante youths, numbering over 100, were on a mission to capture some Boko Haram terrorists in their camps around Kaleri, Shuwari, Maganari and Nannari villages before they were ambushed and attacked by the terrorists, a development that led to the death of 24 youths. About 36 are still missing.
“In fact, there was an initial arrangement with military troops to accompany the vigilante youths to the said Boko Haram camps in Monguno, but when the youths waited for the arrival of the military for some hours in vain, they decided to visit the area with a view to arresting the suspects.
“But unknown to them, the armed Boko Haram members had disguised in military uniforms with three captured patrol vehicles of the security agencies. This made the vigilante youths to conclude that the military men had gone to the camp ahead of them.
“So, as they approached the camps, the terrorists opened fire and killed about 15 of them, while nine others who had fortified themselves with anti-bullet charms were killed by being crushed with the patrol vehicles.
“But as I am talking to you now, about 36 of the volunteer youths are still missing, while we received an unconfirmed report that five of the youths who escaped the attack with broken legs and hands were rescued by some good Samaritans and are in one of the villages close to the camps, receiving treatment from the villagers.”
A top politician and close associate of the state governor, who did not want his name in print, confirmed the incident.
“Already, Alhaji Mohammed Nur Monguno, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Monguno, has rushed to Maiduguri today (Saturday) to brief Governor Kashim Shettima on the incident,” the politician told Sunday Tribune in Maiduguri.
However, lack of telecommunication network in Borno did not allow our correspondent to get to the military authorities or Police Public Relations Officer, Gideon Jubrin a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) for confirmation at press time.