Boko Haram extremists attacked Dalori village in Nigeria on Sunday night and killed at least 86 people. Many of them were children who were burnt alive.
Scores of charred bodies with bullet wounds littered the village streets and two nearby camps that altogether housed 25,000 refugees. The attack took place at Dalori which is just 5 kilometers from Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram and the biggest city in Nigeria’s north-east region.
A survivor hidden in a tree said that he watched the extremists firebomb huts and heard the screams of children who were being burnt alive.
Survivor Alamin Bakura told The Associated Press over a telephone call that three suicide bombers continued to shoot, burn and explode the unprotected area for almost four hours. A weeping Bakura said that many of his family members were killed in the attack and some of them lay wounded.
Other witnesses said that three female suicide bombers blew themselves up killing many people at one go. But some villagers managed to flee to the neighboring Gamori village, said a soldier at the scene.
Even though the troops arrived at Dalori around 8:40 pm on Sunday night, they were unable to overcome the attackers, who were heavily armed, revealed the soldiers on the condition of anonymity. The Islamic extremists only retreated after reinforcements with heavier weapons arrived.
Survivors complained that it had taken too long for help to arrive from nearby Maiduguri, the military headquarters that is fighting to rein in the Boko Haram. Most of them said they feared another attack.
According to Mohammed Kanar, the area coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency, 86 bodies had been collected until Monday afternoon.
Another 62 people are being treated for burns, said Abba Musa of the State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri.
Boko Haram has been attacking soft targets with suicide bombers, since the military drove them out of towns and villages in north-east Nigeria last year.
Nigeria’s home-grown Islamic extremists have killed about 20,000 people and driven 2.5 million from their homes in the last 6 years
(With inputs from agencies)