Children burned alive in Boko Haram attack

  • 01/02/2016

A survivor says he watched Boko Haram raiders firebomb huts and heard the screams of children burning alive among 86 people killed in the latest attack by Nigeria's homegrown Islamic extremists.

Scores of charred corpses and bodies with bullet wounds littered the streets after Saturday night's (local time) assault on Dalori village and two nearby camps housing 25,000 refugees, according to witnesses.

The attack happened just 5 kilometres from Maiduguri, the birthplace of Boko Haram and the biggest city in Nigeria's northeast.

The shooting, burning and explosions from three suicide bombers continued for nearly four hours in the unprotected area, survivor Alamin Bakura told the Associated Press. He said several of his family members were killed or wounded.

The violence continued as three female suicide bombers blew up among people who managed to flee to neighbouring Gamori village, killing many people, according to a soldier at the scene.

Troops arrived at Dalori about 8:40pm on Saturday but were unable to overcome the attackers, who were better armed.

The Boko Haram fighters only retreated after reinforcements arrived with heavier weapons.

Journalists visited the carnage on Sunday and spoke to survivors who complained it had taken too long for help to arrive from nearby Maiduguri, the military headquarters of the fight to curb Boko Haram.

They said they feared another attack.

Eighty-six bodies were collected by Sunday afternoon, according to Mohammed Kanar, area co-ordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency.

Another 62 people were being treated for burns, said Abba Musa of the State Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri.

Boko Haram has been attacking soft targets, increasingly with suicide bombers, since the military last year drove them out of towns and villages in northeastern Nigeria.

The six-year Islamic uprising has killed about 20,000 people.