Boko Haram seize more towns - thousands flee

2014-09-07 07:55
A screengrab from a video released by Nigerian Islamists Boko Haram shows the leader of the extremist group, Abubakar Shekau. (AFP)

A screengrab from a video released by Nigerian Islamists Boko Haram shows the leader of the extremist group, Abubakar Shekau. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kano - Thousands of fear-stricken residents in several towns and villages in Nigeria's northeast Adamawa state have fled their homes after troops failed to retake a major town seized by Boko Haram militants, residents said on Saturday.

Residents of Madagali, Gulak and Michika towns and nearby villages fled their homes on Friday through Saturday following a Boko Haram advance after repelling a military offensive to retake Madagali town, seized by the militants last month.

"All the residents of Madagali, Gulak and Michika have fled their homes to the mountains and Mubi town after soldiers retreated from Madagali where they made a failed attempt to push out the insurgents and the recapture the town," said Bello Alaramma who also ran away from Gulak to Mubi, 76km away.

"Boko Haram are now in control of Gulak," headquarters of Madagali local government (municipality) in Adamawa state, Alaramma said.

Defence headquarters spokesperson, Major General Chris Olukolade, declined to comment on Boko Haram seizure of more towns in the region.

Residents of Gulak became apprehensive when troops drove into the town in vans, trucks and armoured cars firing shots in the air in retreat after they were overpowered by the militants in Madagali, 20 kilometres away, said Ayuba Daniel, a Gulak resident.

"Around 17:00 (1600GMT) yesterday [Friday] we started seeing hordes of soldiers in vans, trucks and armoured cars driving through Gulak firing shots in the air and soon afterwards people from Madagali started trooping in telling us Boko Haram were on their way," Daniel said.

"This forced us to flee to Mubi and nearby mountains to escape Boko Haram attack," he said.

Residents of Mubi, 200km from the state capital, Yola, said the town was "flooded" with people from Michika, Gulak and Madagali.

"Mubi is now flooded with people from Michika, Madagali, Gulak, Uba and other villages who have been trooping in since last night," said Muhammad Maishanu, a Mubi resident.

"The influx is causing apprehension among people in Mubi who fear the influx would attract Boko Haram who have attacked Mubi before," he said.

Mubi, the commercial hub of the state, has seen several attacks blamed on Boko Haram.

At least 40 people were killed in June when an explosion ripped through a soccer pitch in Mubi after a match

In October 2012 at least 40 students of a polytechnic college in the town were shot dead in attacks on student hostels.

Both attacks were blamed on Boko Haram, the sect whose heightened deadly attacks in the past weeks have won for them seizure of some key towns in Borno, including Gwoza and Bama, as well as Buni Yadi in neighbouring Yobe state.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.