, MAIDUGURI, April 12- Suspected Boko Haram Islamists have killed 19 people, including six college teachers, in three separate attacks in Nigeria’s troubled northeastern Borno state, residents and travellers said.
The killings took place on Thursday and Friday in Dikwa, Kala Balge towns and near Dalwa village in the state, the bastion of the Islamist sect, they said.
In Dikwa, one of the ancient towns in Borno State, residents said that insurgents stormed a college in the early hours of Thursday, killed six teachers and two security guards and abducted an unspecified number of women, the residents said.
A witness, Modu Kakarimi, who fled Dikwa to Maiduguri, the state capital, said he and some others ran away to safety when they heard sound of gunshots.
“Our fear was heightened when we saw the boarding school (college) in flames. We later gathered that they have killed eight there. We fled together with our women and children,” Kakarimi said.
Bono state Senator Ahmed Zanna confirmed the Dikwa killing to journalists but he said he could not provide full details.
“There was a siege on one of the schools in the town just after midnight… They also razed the school library and escaped into the night through the bushes,” he said.
A group of insurgents also attacked Kala Balge town, killing three people and setting many houses ablaze, some local officials said on condition of anonymity.
On Friday, suspected Islamists blocked Maiduguri Biu highway near Dalwa village and shot dead eight passengers, a passer by Mustapha Ali, said.
Ali, who passed through Dalwa on his way to Maiduguri said the insurgents stormed the highway in broad daylight.
There was no immediate confirmation of the attacks by security agencies but a top security officer, who demanded anonymity, confirmed them.
“There were various attacks in the state It is sad,” he said.
The military is launching a major offensive in the region to crush Boko Haram’s uprising, which the insurgents say is aimed at creating a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria.
Violence in the region has already killed some 1,500 people this year.