left corner left corner
China Daily Website  

At least 25 killed in Nigeria market attack

Updated: 2014-06-16 19:58
( Xinhua)

ABUJA - At least 25 traders have been killed in an attack at a local market 30 km away from the scene of the mid-April abduction of more than 200 school girls in Nigeria's restive northeastern state of Borno, sources said here on Monday.

The attack, blamed on the Boko Haram sect, occurred on Sunday at Daku Village of Askir Uba local government area of the northern state, a witness told Xinhua.

"More people may have been killed. No one can say precisely how many traders lost their lives. We all had to scamper for safety. Obviously, the attackers were Boko Haram members," said Musa Tijani, a trader who spoke in the local Hausa language.

According to him, the attackers invaded the market, driving utility vans and riding on motorcycles, thereby carting away some wares at the shops. Before looting the shops, they sprayed bullets indiscriminately at buyers and sellers at the market, he added.

Dozens of people were injured in the attack, said Usman Mohammed, another trader who witnessed the attack. He said some shops were razed by the attackers who also brandished knives and machetes during the attack.

A local official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said only 25 bodies had been found so far. The official, however, declined to give further details on the attack.

"Honestly, we have not yet received any report concerning the attack in Askir Uba local government area, but we will get back to you once we get any of such report," said Gideon Jibrin, state police spokesperson, while commenting on the attack.

Hundreds of people had been killed in the last three months in many village attacks across three states in the northeast region of Nigeria by Boko Haram, an outlawed sect, which has proved to be a major security threat in the West African country since 2009.

Only last month, more than 100 people were massacred by Boko Haram fighters in various attacks.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, is currently grappling with security challenges, one of which is the insurgency of Boko Haram, a sect which seeks to enforce the Islamic sharia law in the constitution.