SaharaReporters has just learned that insurgents belonging to the dreaded Islamist group Boko Haram last Wednesday abducted more than 20 women, most of them young girls, in Lassa, Borno State. A member of the community, Daniel Ibrahim, made the disclosure in a telephone call to SaharaReporters. A security source then confirmed the report.
“They [Boko Haram] abducted more than 20 girls from our town and killed many people, mostly old men and women,” said Mr. Ibrahim.
Mr. Ibrahim, who said he survived the attacks, revealed that the Islamist fighters had been advancing towards Lassa since late November, but had met stiff resistance from determined local fighters until Wednesday.
He said the Islamist insurgents attacked the town last Wednesday in a wave of hundreds of fighters with a variety of heavy weaponry, including tanks and explosives. They were finally able to overwhelm the local opposition and capture the town.
“They burnt almost half of the town before they left. Those of us who were lucky fled, but they massacred aged ones and younger men they could catch,” the informant stated. He said the town fell to the insurgents because the residents’ appeals to security agencies to deploy more troops and to step up land and air operations were ignored. “That’s why the town is now in the hands of Boko Haram,” he said.
A senior military officer attached to the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army based in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, confirmed that the military was aware of the development in Lassa.