by CHINEDU ASADU
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria ( Associated Press) – At least seven people have been killed by Islamic extremist insurgents in an attack in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state, witnesses told the Associated Press on Wednesday.
Residents said rebels attacked the village of Kautukari in Borno’s Chibok area on Tuesday evening. The attack took place while UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was in the state to meet survivors of jihadist violence.
The Chibok region is 115 kilometers (71 mi) from the state capital Maiduguri, where Guterres met with thousands of people displaced by the insurgency to rejoin society with former militants.
“They came in large numbers with better firepower[and]took over the community,” said community leader Hassan Chibok. Troops were deployed from a nearby military base to stop the attack, but “the damage was done,” Chibok said, adding that “the number of casualties is up to 10.”
Another resident, Yana Galang, said at least seven people were killed in fresh violence before the Nigerian military intervened.
Nigerian police did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation of the attack.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with 206 million people, is battling a 10-year-old insurgency in the northeast by Boko Haram’s Islamist extremist insurgents and its offshoot, the Islamic State West Africa province. Extremists are fighting to establish Sharia law and to block Western education.
According to the United Nations Development Program, more than 35,000 people have been killed and millions displaced by extremist violence.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said earlier this week that the war against extremists was “coming to its conclusion,” citing ongoing military airstrikes and the mass defection of thousands of fighters, some of whom analysts say are internal. They are laying down their arms because of the conflict. jihadist group.
However violence continues in border communities and areas close to the Lake Chad region, a stronghold of ISWAP, a group affiliated with the Islamic State.
Community leader Chibok said the situation in Chibok’s promiscuous village and adjacent to the forest was getting worse.