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Borno villagers allege military loot after raid on insurgents

‘No soldier would do such thing,’ says Theatre Commander

From: Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri

The dust raised by last week’s attack on a Borno community  by Boko Haram is yet to settle down as residents of the troubled community alleged that soldiers in pursuit of insurgents raided and looted their homes.

Boko Haram had attacked Ali Dawari village, a serene community at the outskirt of Maiduguri, last Wednesday, hours before the visit of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo visited the area. The military troops after quelling the attack reportedly raided the area in search of the remnants of the insurgents or accomplices.

However, residents of the community who earlier fled their homes in the wake of the attack but have now returned alleged that they saw soldiers parking their belonging and foodstuffs in a military trick.

The residents who took journalists to the scene of the attack claimed soldiers also set their houses ablaze.

In a letter of complaint addressed to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, theatre commander and General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Nigerian Army, signed by the village Heads of Dawari led by Bulama Ali and given to journalists, the community urged military to carry out “full scale investigation” into the matter.

“We wish to forward our complaints on the activities and role played by the security operatives in our area after the attack on our village , Ali Dawari Village that occured on Wednesday 7th June 2017 at 6:00pm.

“When the attack ended , some Security Personnel under the command of a (army) captain took over the Security and control of the entire Village, the remaining persons were chased out by the Security and  from there , they embarked on burning of houses and looting of our properties. Even as at Sunday 11th June 2017, houses were still burning. We vividly saw three army trucks loaded with our food items, personal effects moving out of the village, both during day and night.

“We urge you to carry out a serious and full scale investigation and demand compensation of the loss and damages done to our community,” the Community pleaded to the Authorities,” the community said.

Reacting to the allegation, Theatre Commander Operation LAFIYA DOLE, Maj.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, dismissed the report as untrue.

Said he, “No soldier would do such thing. Our troops are guided by rule id engagement and they won’t decend to the level of doing what the people are alleging. On the contrary, the Boko Haram terrorists perpetrated such atrocities and not our troops,” the commander told Daily Sun.

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