Hundreds of decomposed bodies including those of women and children were discovered by a government committee in Damasak, northern Borno State this past weekend. The committee was set up by Governor Kashim Shettima to assess the level of destruction in towns
According to reports from Daily Trust; the victims were suspected to have been killed by Boko Haram insurgents as they fled the town following an onslaught by Chadian forces to recapture the town.
The committee spent the weekend recovering and burying remains of the victims under the watchful eyes of Chadian troops who sacked the insurgents from Damasak some weeks ago.
However, Kyari denied suggestions that among the victims were some of the 500 children abducted by the militants a few months ago.
It was said that the children were locked up in an Arabic school in Damasak and that they died of suffocation and hunger.
Kyari said: “I have full knowledge of what the committee did in Damasak and the fact is that there was nowhere that bodies of over 500 children was discovered.
“Of course, many people have been killed but nobody or group brought all the dead bodies to one place.
” What really happened was that following the liberation of Damasak by Chadian and Nigerien forces and a visit by a committee that we set up, we again sent our people there on Saturday (25th April) and they worked assiduously in recovering many dead bodies.
“I cannot tell you the precise number of dead bodies but they are many. The people that went to Damasak divided themselves into various groups, recovered the bodies and buried them in various graves,” he said.
Kyari said some bodies were recovered in Kareto and others in Damasak.
He said preliminary investigations suggested that some of the fresh corpses were those of insurgents killed by Chadian and Niger Republic troops.
Community leaders have warned that civilians are still at risk, especially those returning to remote areas like Gujba where the military’s deployment has typically been thin.
Many experts agree that Boko Haram is likely to transition from capturing and holding territory to reverting to a pattern of hit-and-run attacks.
Analysts say boastings from regional armies should be treated with caution, as the Islamists are far from defeated and can easily regroup, especially if there is a let-up in the military pressure.
Source :Daily Trust.