The attackers, who struck at about 7am, were dressed in black.
According to a member representing the area in the National Assembly, Dr. Simon Mwadkwon, who was at the scene with soldiers of the Special Task Force (STF), eight people were killed at Kankuru village and over 15 at Kushen village.
The assailants numbering over 200 were armed with sophisticated weapons. It was said that immediately the attackers arrived the villages, they started burning their victims’ houses and shooting them at close range.
The local council chairman, Dr. Emmanuel Loman, who also confirmed the incident, said, “I cannot confirm the casualty figure now because I cannot enter the scene. The situation is tense there. They were said to have burnt many houses. They came in bullet proof attires with sophisticated weapons, which they used on their victims.”
Another source, however, said the Special Task Force (STF) later forced the attackers to beat a retreat into the bush.
Spokesman of the STF, Captain Salisu Mustapha, said yesterday at about 4.30pm that he could not confirm the casualty figure because the situation had not calmed down.
“Suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked those villages. Presently, the casualty figure is not yet known but there are casualties. There are casualties but it is the figure that I cannot be sure of for now.”
In a similar vein, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the Plateau State Police Command, Deputy Superintendent Abuh Emmanuel, said at the time he was contacted that he was on his way to the scene, adding that he was informed that there was an incident at Barkin Ladi council. He later stated that he was with other security personnel at the scene of the event trying to restore normalcy.
Neighbours of the victims also confirmed shooting was still going on as security personnel engaged the attackers repelling them into the bush.
In another development, men suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, at about 6.50 p.m on Thursday, stormed two houses in the Abaganaram ward in Maiduguri, slitting the throats of two residents.
The incident comes barely 24 hours after the assassination of General Manager of Borno Housing Corporation (BOHC) in Maiduguri.
The houses are located one kilometre east of the Housing Corporation complex, where BOHC Manager, Isa Madu Ngaram, was killed on Wednesday.
In a telephone chat, a resident said: “Three gunmen walked into the area and demanded the whereabouts of our neighbours. But no one responded. Everyone rushed into his house for the 7pm-6am curfew. Two hours later, we began to hear people crying and wailing. We didn’t hear the usual gun shots associated with exchanges of fire between the Joint Task Force (JTF) and armed terrorists in the Abaganaram and Budum wards.”
JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, said he received reports of the killings in the affected ward yesterday. He said the military task force and the police have not yet made arrests.
Confirming the killings also, the Borno State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Gideon Jibrin, said yesterday that details of the incident are yet to be forwarded by the police area commander to headquarters.