Cameroonian troops have killed at least 70 Nigerian villagers while chasing Islamic insurgents in the Gwoza area of Borno state in northeastern Nigeria, fleeing villagers said. It was the second time innocent Nigerian villagers would die for Boko Haram sins.
Troops entered Kirawa-Jimni village on Sunday, asked where Boko Haram insurgents were and started shooting, residents said.
“We didn’t know what was going on but the Cameroonian troops suddenly appeared and began to ask us for Boko Haram terrorists,” said Muhammed Abba, a resident of the village and deputy commander of a local group of civilians set up to fight the extremists in Gwoza. “Before we could saya word, they started firing. That scared most of us and we began to run.”
Abba said that when people returned Monday, they found 70 corpses littering the ground.
The Borno state spokesman for a civilian self-defense group, Abbas Gava, confirmed the reports, saying he received calls from residents of Ashigashiya village near the border with Cameroon.
“They said the soldiers were in hot pursuit of the Boko Haram terrorists who ran into Kirawa-Jimni. The soldiers did not waste time upon arrival as they immediately opened fire on the villagers,” he said.
Kirawa-Jimni is a border community near Cameroon, located around the area where Boko Haram insurgents once held sway. Many Gwoza residents who had fled to Maiduguri and Yola say the insurgents are still very present in the area.
In the last 48 hours, Cameroonian troops have arrested two Boko Haram suspects in a refugee camp in Minawaou, arrested a Boko Haram kingpin, identified as Alhaji Oumar.
The troops today also routed a Boko Haram group trying to hijack trucks loaded with food between Dabanga and Ylang Ylang, north of the country.