Survivors of Boko Haram attack stranded on mountain

Lagos - Hundreds of people who escaped a Boko Haram attack on their town in Nigeria's restive north and fled to a nearby mountain said on Saturday they were without any food.

"We are in distress. We need help," said Liman Ngosha, a farmer from the town of Gwoza.

"We have been starving for the past four days. We are surviving now on wild fruits," he told AFP by phone from the Mandara mountain.

Suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked the town, some 135km from the state capital of Maidugur, on Wednesday.

The raid left dozens dead and sent others fleeing to the mountain near the Cameroonian border.

Survivors said there were no soldiers to defend the town when the gunmen attacked before dawn.

Over 100 corpses

"I cannot tell the exact number of people that were killed. Before I fled, over 100 corpses littered the streets of Gworza," Ngosha said.

The palace of the town's emir, the police headquarters and scores of other buildings were destroyed, residents said.

"Dozens of our people have been killed by the attackers. Some were slaughtered and many others shot with guns," resident James Mshelia told AFP.

Residents said the whereabouts of the Gwoza emir, Mohammad Idrissa Timta, was unknown. Timta succeeded his father, Mustapha Idrissa Timta, who was killed by Boko Haram insurgents in May.

"There is no military presence in Gwoza now," said Halima Jatau, one of the fleeing residents.

The attack on Gwoza came a few weeks after the insurgents took over Damboa, another town in the volatile state that is repeatedly attacked by the Islamist group.

Many Gworza residents who escaped the attack, including some who fled to the mountain, met in Maiduguri on Saturday with the state governor, Kashim Shettima, who promised to discuss their plight with President Goodluck Jonathan.

"I share your pain and I know the difficulty that you are going through. I want to assure you that I will relay what is happening to the president and I will seek his support in the deployment of more soldiers to Gwoza," he said.

On Saturday, police fired shots at a group of about 300 Gworza residents who had gathered in central Maiduguri to protest the Boko Haram attack, injuring a 26-year-old man.

The head of the state police, Lawan Tanko, later apologised to the protesters saying that the policeman who fired the shot that injured the man had been identified and would be tried and punished accordingly.

Louis Van Den Elst 2014/08/10 10:01:50 AM
Shocking that no word is being said What is wrong with the SA government condemning the atrocity committed by the radical Muslim Hoko Harem Any aid being sent to the people in need ?
Akhenaten 2014/08/10 10:07:22 AM
We were so kind as to send soldiers to CAR. They are now needed to fight Boko Haram. We have a lot to say about Israel but about Africa we just keep quiet. What happened to African Unity. Where is the AU.
Albert Nkhoma 2014/08/10 10:24:28 AM
I wonder if the state Governor needs any special discusions with the president to appreciate the plight of Northern Nigerias.
Paulson Meziri 2014/08/10 10:39:31 AM
Where are the protesters of Israel defending itself. Can Tutu think again and tell his friends muslim terrorist to stop these atrocities against minority Christians in north eastern Nigeria.
Seek Anfind 2014/08/10 11:28:12 AM
shoo.. them war mongering muslims are at it again! why cant the "good and peace loving" muslims from south africa organise a protest march against the savage muslims? why is it that thousands can rally in support of Palestine yet there is hardly a mumble uttered against the rest of the atrocities committed in the name of islam. . ?
Abraham Itodo 2014/08/10 01:21:10 PM
these islamist are not difficult for the nigeria govt to wipe out but the for the sake of the innocent ones who might b killed.these people dont come out to fight face to face. but hide under civilian populace like hamas.fools taking naija backward
David F Mashaba 2014/08/10 02:29:15 PM
boko u are murderers how on warheads do u kill innocent peopple its not holy war but evil war
Siraj Paruk 2014/08/10 03:47:58 PM
Terrorism has no place in Islam, God states in the Quraan, "...whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all of mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved all of mankind" These exterimist parsue their own political agendas in the name of religion which is completely wrong. Rightful Muslim scholars and leaders have repeatedly spoken out against acts of terrorism like suicide bombings, kidnapping and murdering of people. These atrocious activities have no place in Islam. Muslims must make even more effort to denounce these terrorist and their supporters and condemn their activities. Hopefully more of the media will also make an effort to report on the facts about Islam. These terrorist and their supporters have done Muslims and Mankind a huge disfavour. Its a shame that a religion enshrined in peace and the worship of God has been portrayed in the media as a religion of terror, which only further fuels conflict in the world and hate towards Muslims. The value humanity places on the life of a Muslim has been terribly eroded, as many in there world were falsely lead to believe that terrorism is part of Islam. In actual fact means Islam means peace.   Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) repeatedly thought his followers that Muslims should have respect and tolerance for Christians, Jews etc. Harming people of other faiths, throwing them out  and destroying their churches goes completely against Islam.
Billy Hewie 2014/08/10 07:30:52 PM
Nigeria's Ebola epidemic is starting to roll. Add a possible refugee crisis. This could become interesting.