60 Boko Haram killed in gun battle with military over Bama

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The Armed Forces yesterday repelled an early morning attack on Bama, the second main town in Borno State, killing at least 60 insurgents and capturing more than 100 wounded others.

Sources at the Defence Headquarters stated that Boko Haram militants invaded Bama, with at least 300 fighters backed with heavy artillery and sophisticated weapons in an attempt to overrun and take over the town.

The heavily fortified town, which has assorted military supplies, including recently acquired equipment, medical supplies and food items, was gallantly defended by soldiers who resisted the terrorists despite the heavy mortar shelling that was fired from mobile couriers such as pick-up trucks and other open body vehicles.

Boko Haram was also said to have used long range RPGs and grenades freely in the surprise early morning onslaught in their determination to overpower the soldiers.

Military sources disclosed that the attack failed because troops were on high alert and had been expecting the Boko Haram insurgents to strike at Bama after their string of successes in their recent attacks, especially after the capture of Gwoza, Damboa, Gamboru and Dikwa towns.

Intelligence reports also indicated that the insurgents were also believed to have been bolstered by their successes in some parts of Adamawa State which they held and proclaimed as an Islamic caliphate along with other areas in Borno State.

Indeed, eyewitnesses said the Boko Haram insurgents arrived the outskirts of Bama early Monday morning in their hundreds and spread across large areas before launching the attack on the town with the grenades and long range weapons.

Bama, which has an estimated population of 500, 000 residents, was said to have been heavily attacked as troops were still battling with the insurgents as at mid afternoon yesterday. And in consequence of the attack, majority of the town’s population were said to have relocated, with many heading to Maiduguri.

Bama is said to be strategic to the military’s operations as it plays an important role in resupplying the troops at the warfronts at the deeper ends of Borno State and many of essential items, like food and weapons, are still stored in the town, which may explain why the insurgents besieged it.

Defence Spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, could not respond to phone calls for reactions on the latest development in the war against insurgency and the battle for Bama.

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