The terrorist sect, Boko Haram, on Sunday reportedly killed 15 persons, mostly traders in a local market in Daku village in the Askira/Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.
The terrorists were said to have stormed the market in the early hours of Sunday, armed with AK47 rifles, Improvised Explosive Devices and petrol bombs.
They killed and set the structures in the market on fire. They were said to have set several shops, houses, vehicles and motorcycles ablaze.
The Askira/Uba council shares boundaries with Biu, Chibok, Gwoza and Hawul council areas, and is in the southern part of Borno State. It is about 190 kilometres to Maiduguri, the state capital.
Sources in the village said the terrorists came on motorcycles and in a Hilux Toyota vehicle at about 11am and opened fire on the traders, killing 15.
They were also said to have carted away food items and unspecified amount of money. They reportedly operated for about an hour before fleeing towards the Sambisa forest.
Attempts to get official confirmation from both the police and military sources were unsuccessful as their spokesmen could not be reached on the phone.
Meanwhile, the United States has called on the Federal Government to establish a National Victims Fund for the rehabilitation of victims of Boko Haram’s horrific violence.
A US Congressional Delegation, made up of Representatives Steve Stockman, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Frederica Wilson and Lois Frankel, told journalists at a news conference held at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, on Sunday, that the Fund was necessary to assist victims of Boko Haram insurgency to recover from their traumatic experience.
Speaking on behalf of the humanitarian mission to Nigeria, co-chair, Jackson-Lee, said the delegation was in the country to focus on bringing back the abducted girls and stopping the security challenge in Nigeria.
On April 14, insurgents abducted over 200 pupils of the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, and efforts to secure their release have not been successful as the abductors have held on to the schoolgirls for the past two months.
The abduction of the girls had generated worldwide outcry with protesters across the globe asking the government to bring back the girls.
Frankel said, “Collectively, we bring a wide range of special knowledge to Nigeria and to focus on a very important issue. We have come from the US to focus on bringing the girls back and to focus on stopping the violence of Boko Haram.
“So we come today with solution, we also come today in asking the north-east and Nigeria to continue to accept international help and it is time to find a way to contain the Boko Haram and save the lives of so many.”
The chairman of the humanitarian mission, Stockman, said the group hoped to join Nigeria in a comprehensive partnership to save her from the current crisis, adding that they would extend a hand of friendship to resolve the problem.
However, the Chairman, National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, has said that the need to evolve the right strategy to rescue the girls is what separates the girls from freedom,.
In an interview with one of our correspondents, Omeri emphasised that it was only when the right strategy had been adopted that the girls would be rescued alive.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, had on May 25 said the security leadership had located where Boko Haram members were holding the abducted girls but that the military would not use force to release the girls because of the need to prevent the insurgents from killing them.
The military chief said the military had the capacity to bring back the abducted girls but would not use force for the crucial assignment. He stressed that the military knew what it was doing and should be allowed to continue with its work.
Asked what had been delaying the rescue operation since the military admitted it had located where the girls were being kept, Omeri, who heads the National Orientation Agency, simply said, “Strategy.”
“These girls need to be brought home alive and it is the strategy that will make the difference,” he said.