In continuation of its fight against Boko Haram Insurgents in the North-East, the troops of 7 Division of the Nigerian Army have destroyed Boko Haram camp, killing over 95 insurgents in Galangi and Limanti villages of Kaga local government area of Borno state.
The invasion came barely some hours after attack on military and police locations in Damaturu the capital of Yobe State by gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members yesterday. The gunmen had access and launched coordinated attacks using Rocket Propelled Launchers and Improvised Explosive Devices (EIDs) on different military checkpoints within the metropolis killing several people.
Mallam Abdulwasiu Akinsanya, a staff of Media Trust, publishers of Daily Trust, Weekly Trust and Sunday Trust was among several civilians that were killed in Damaturu when the gunmen launched multiple attacks on military and police locations as well as public and private buildings on Thursday. His Wife, Bilkisu A. Akinsanya confirmed that her husband was killed around 5.30pm when their vehicle broke down in Damaturu shortly before the Boko Haram insurgents launched the attacks.
Explaining the military invasion, the insurgents, the Army in a Press release signed by its spokesman LT Col Muhammad Dole stated that the operations which involved ground and aerial assault supported by the Nigerian Airforce led to the destruction of the terrorist camp, killing of over 95 insurgents, while several others escaped with gunshot wounds.
Items recovered from the terrorist’s camp, according to the release includes two Isuzu Tiger Pick-up Vans and five Hilux belonging to the terrorists were destroyed, while two soldiers were wounded during the operation.
General Ethan also reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army 7 Division to ensuring safety of lives and property of all citizens within its area of operations.
Witnesses of the Damaturu onslaught said the gunmen first launched attack around the NNPC Mega station, a suburb of Damaturu which had been a GSM Call centre for Maiduguri residents who on daily basis travel from Maiduguri due to lack of telecommunication network to make calls.
The NNPC Mega Station is about 2 kilometres away to the City of Damaturu where military operatives have one of their checkpoints, a few metres away from the station, and because of the presence of the security checkpoint, many phone callers from Maiduguri turned the place to a call centre with adequate security cover; but the gunmen launched their deadly attack on the area before moving to other places in the city.
The attack which signaled their presence before penetrating the town after a while started around 5:30pm and lasted till midnight as security operatives responded promptly.
Although, the number of casualties was sketchy at press time, sources said, several terrorists were killed including security operatives.
Residents said sound of gun shots and Improvise Explosive Devices (IED) were heard across all the nook and crannies of the town, but could not give further details as to how many people were affected in the attacks.
A source said, “I saw dead bodies on the streets near my house, but could not ascertain whether the dead bodies are that of Boko Haram members, innocent civilians or security operatives”.
The spokesman of the Special Operation Battalion in Yobe state, captain Eli Lazarus who confirmed the attack said ”security forces in the state capital are in a gun battle with the insurgents.”
Shortly after the confirmation of the attack, Captain Eli Lazarus in a statement said “the Special operation Battalion Damaturu hereby imposed a 24 hours curfew across Yobe state with immediate effect, as the battalion steps up its operation to rid the state of insurgents”.
The statement urged law abiding citizens to remain calm and to accord the security operatives the usual cooperation.
Security forces are yet to confirm the level of casualties or destruction caused by the attack which lasted for over eight hours.
The Special Operation Battalion Damaturu had early yesterday reviewed the curfew time in Potiskum town between the hours of 10PM – 6:00 AM to 9: PM – 6: 00 AM.
Yesterday’s attack was a serious setback to the relative peace being enjoyed across the state and Damaturu the state capital in particular.