No fewer than 11 civilians were killed when Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) jihadists invaded a town in Yobe State, Nigeria.
The terrorists were said to have stormed the town of Geidam in eight trucks fitted with machine guns as the residents were preparing to break their Ramadan fast on Friday, resulting in a gun duel with troops from a nearby base.
Political administrator of Geidam town Ali Kolo Kachalla was quoted as saying on phone from the state capital Damaturu “We lost 11 people ins the terrorists invasion and the gunmen are still in the town.
“Our people are trapped in the town and soldiers have been prevented from leaving,”
A report says the victims were killed when a projectile hit two adjoining homes in the Samunaka neighbourhood of the town during the fighting between troops and the militants.
“A projectile fell on the two houses, killing all the 11 occupants, six from one house and five from the other,” said a resident Babagana Kyari.
The terrorists destroyed telecom masts in the town, living a few from a mobile carrier, making communications difficult.
“The insurgents looted provision stores before setting them on fire,” another resident Ari Sanda, revealed, adding that the fighters seized a military armoured vehicle and destroyed three trucks.
Shortly after the terrorists entered the town on Friday, a fighter jet deployed and engaged them as they hid among the civilian population to evade aerial attack.
On Saturday, the terrorists were said to have emerged from their hiding and were joined by more of their comrades who arrived in the town in trucks.
“They are still in the town, they are camping under trees, with some of them sleeping,” said Kyari.
Despite assurances they would not harm civilians, residents remained indoors while some tried to flee.
Troops have blocked the road out of town, preventing panicked residents from leaving, prompting some to trek into the bush while others took boats to the other side the river to escape, another resident was quoted.
“Our people want to leave town but soldiers are preventing them without chasing the insurgents out, leaving our people in danger,” Kachalla said.
According to a UN record, the jihadist onslaught which started in 2009 has killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in the northeast.