It was another day of horror in Maiduguri yesterday when security operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) walked through pools of blood to evacuate corpses after assailants believed to be members of Boko Haram attacked a house at night and slit the throats of 15 occupants.
But Chigozie, a young Igbo man, was lucky to have his jugular missed by an inch, while 14 others died as the attackers practically slaughtered them.
It was the first major killing by the militant sect in three weeks.
Mathew Okoye, who lived adjacent to the attacked compound, said the assault was carried out at about 2am in the night, “but because no gun shooting was involved many of us did not notice the killings until when some women began to scream shortly after the killers had left”.
The spokesman of the JTF, Lt Col Sagir Musa, who confirmed the incident in a press statement, said nine persons were killed in the compound. But Blueprint gathered from those living in the neighbourhood that 15 persons were attacked and that “only one was lucky to survive”.
A hospital source at the Accident and Emergency Ward of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital confirmed to our reporter that a man with serious injury on his neck was wheeled into the hospital “in the early hours of today”.
Okoye said most of those attacked were construction workers working at the site of the Maiduguri central mosque at the Shehu’s palace. They came from various states with the construction company and had been living in the civilian palace (the name the attacked compound was popularly known) for many months now.
Col Musa said: “Information available to JTF revealed that 9 construction workers working at the Shehu of Borno Central Mosque (Maiduguri Central Mosque) were massacred by suspected terrorists at about 0145 hrs (am) today. The victims were living in a compound located at Bolori general area, Maiduguri metropolis. The incident was reported to the Task Force by 0605 hours (am) when the dastardly act was completed. JTF troops rushed to d area/compound and saw the dead bodies and they were deposited at the mortuary of Borno State Specialist Hospital. No arrest was made; effort is on to apprehend the culprits.”
Soldiers cordoned off the entire neighbourhood of Bolori, where the compound is located, preventing journalists from gaining access to the scene of the attack.
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