EHIRIM FILES NEWS DESK
Suspected members of the Boko Haram militant sect has launched another attack on Sunday, killing no fewer than 19 people, mostly by slitting their throats, at a checkpoint in Yobe.
In the operation, members of the sect also burnt about five trucks, our correspondent gathered.
It was learnt that the members of the sect disguised as soldiers to carry out the assault.
Our correspondent also gathered that unlike the terrorism sect's previous operations, knives were used to on Sunday.
One of the survivors, Adamu Mallam, said he was dragged out of his vehicle, adding that in the process, men dressed in military uniforms shot two people dead.
"They made me lie face down on the ground. I was next to be killed," he told Reuters by telephone in a quaking voice.
Mallam, who is a trader, added, "I heard a man close to me screaming. They slaughtered him with a knife. They set five trucks ablaze during the assault."
Mallam said he escaped when the attackers got a call telling them that a military patrol was coming, which made them ride off.
"One of the attackers received a phone call and they all rode off on motorbikes," Mallam and another trader said.
Another trader assumed that the call received by the suspected Boko Haram members was an alert informing them to flee.
"I suspect they were alerted to a security presence so had to flee. That call saved our lives," said the other trader, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.
However, Boko Haram, which is Nigeria's top security threat despite an all-out military offensive against it ordered by President Goodluck Jonathan in May.
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen killed 159 people in two roadside attacks in northeast Nigeria last month, also involving fake checkpoints.
In one of the most harrowing last month, suspected Boko Haram fighters stormed a college in northeastern Nigeria and shot dead around 40 male students.
Amnesty International reported last week that around 1,000 people, mostly Boko Haram suspects, had died in Nigerian jails in the first half of the year.
It said some starved to death while others died after being shot or badly beaten without medical attention.
But, the government says detainees are well treated and rarely dealt with.
--------MU'SODIQ ADEKUNLE, DAILY TIMES NIGERIA