Boko Haram militants on Thursday raided a cement facility owned by French group Lafarge as part of an attack on two towns in the Northeast, witnesses said.
“The gunmen kept shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and firing guns haphazardly. They went into the cement factory and took away some vehicles,” said Samail Adnan, who lives in Ashaka, in Gombe state.
A company staff member, who asked not to be identified, said the factory was evacuated before the raid.
A staff member at the cement works, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Adnan’s account and said the factory was evacuated before the attack.
“Our fear was confirmed. They went into the factory and headed to the administrative building where company vehicles were parked,” he said.
“They took away several Hilux (four-wheel drive) vans. They also went to the factory clinic and took away an ambulance along with drugs. They didn’t harm anybody.”
The same plant was attacked on November 4, when pick-up trucks and large quantities of industrial dynamite used in mining were also taken.
The staff member said the explosives had been moved since the last raid and although the militants looked for more, they were unable to find any.
The gunmen also raided banks and burned government buildings as well as political party offices, residents told AFP.
Scores of gunmen dressed in military uniform arrived in Bajoga, 60 kilometres (37 miles) from Gombe city in a convoy of 20 vehicles at about 7:00 am.
Troops managed to push the attackers out and they then drove towards the town of Ashaka five kilometres away near the border with Yobe State to the northeast.