From TIMOTHY OLANREWAJU, Maiduguri
No fewer than 24 youth volunteers popularly known as Civilian JTF were killed yesterday when Boko Haram insurgents ambushed the vigilance group in Monguno, northern Borno. Sources also said many of the volunteers are still missing.
A police source hinted that the tragic incident occurred following a counter insurgency mission embarked upon by the Civilian JTF in Boko Haram camps around Kaleri, Shuwari, Maganari and Nannari villages in the Monguno Local Government Area. But the mission took a sad turn when the insurgents in a military vehicle ambushed the youths.
“The vigilante youths numbering over 100 were on a mission to smoke out some Boko Haram men but they were ambushed by the insurgents. About 24 people may have died while about 36 were still missing.
“There was an initial arrangement with military troops that they will accompany the vigilante youths to the Boko Haram camps but the youths had to leave after endless waiting. Because the military did not surface, they moved to Monguno in a convoy of about five vehicles but the armed Boko Haram who disguised in army camouflage and a captured military patrol confused the vigilante youths to think they were military troops. They just opened fire on the young men while many others fled,” one of the volunteers who could not make the trip to Monguno disclosed in Maiduguri.
Spokesman of the defunct Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt Col Sagir Musa and the Police Public Relations (PPRO), Jibril Gideon could not be reached as at press time.