Suspected insurgents belonging to the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, yesterday attacked the towns of Dikwa and Marte in Borno, with the Emir of Dikwa escaping death by fleeing to Maiduguri, the state capital.
A close aide of the emir told SaharaReporters that the heavily armed insurgents stormed Dikwa and Marte, arriving in several sports utility vehicles and motorcycles. He said the residents of the towns fled into the bush at the sight of the invading militants who chanted “Allah is Great!” as they advanced. The source said the Emir of Dikwa, Muhammad Masta Ibn El Kanemi, was among those who took to the bushes to hide and escape. The Emir was later seen in Maiduguri today.
Another source said the insurgents later cruised into the town of Marte, walking freely within the town without any challenge from Nigerian soldiers. “They (the militants) told us that they didn't come here for us, but that they were looking for soldiers among us,” said our source, a resident of Marte.
Dikwa is about 80 kilometers from the Borno State capital of Maiduguri along Gamboru-Ngala axis.
The Islamist insurgents have intensified their attacks in Adamawa and Borno states where at least 400,000 people have been displaced from their former homes and locations. More than 10,000 of the displaced people have taken refuge in the neighboring West African country of Cameroon.