Suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked a village in Nigeria’s volatile northeast over the weekend, burning huts and detonating a suicide bomb. An emergency services spokesman says around 40 people are dead.
The attack started late Saturday, when fighters stormed Dalori, a village on the outskirts of the Borno State capital Maiduguri. Northeastern coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency Alhaji Muhammed Kanar said villagers fled as the fighters approached.
“They scared the people and then they rushed outside. They run out of the village, almost all of them, and [the attackers] set the whole village at a blaze,” said Kanar.
The villagers regrouped, thinking they were safe. That is when the suicide bomber struck. “The suicide bomber detonated his explosives, thereby killing, he killed so many people in there,” he said.
Kanar said about 40 people were killed in the attack. He could not say how many were wounded.
The village of Dalori shares a name with a nearby camp for some 18,000 people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency. The insurgents have forced more than 2.2 million Nigerians from their homes and killed about 20,000 people in their six-year quest to impose strict Islamic law.
Nigeria’s government late last year said they had defeated the group, but acknowledged the militants still had the capability to carry out attacks on civilians.
Kanar said no militants were able to enter the displaced persons camp.
“We were so lucky even they were not inside the camp. It would have caused ... more havoc than that,” he said.
Kanar said emergency services were working to shelter the newly displaced people from Dalori.