The Defence Headquarters yesterday confirmed the killing of 53 terrorists during a daring attack on troops’ locations in Damboa, Borno State Friday night by members of Boko Haram Islamic Sect, which were successfully repelled by the troops.
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, in a statement yesterday also disclosed that five soldiers and a senior officer died while repelling the attack.
Olukolade explained that the terrorists had stormed the troops’ bases and police locations while most of the troops were out on patrol of surrounding villages.
He said a cordon and search of the locality was ongoing, while the bodies of the fallen soldiers had been recovered and deposited in the military morgue.
“The wounded are also receiving treatment in the military medical facility,” he said.
A source from the town told journalists that: “About 200 heavy gunmen in Toyota Hilux vehicles attacked Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.”
The source said: “The militants who initially had an edge, lost 50, of the about 200 militants who came, when ground troops and the Air Force fighter jets engaged them.”
The source said: “The incident took place on Friday at about 5:00pm when the insurgents with anti-aircraft guns, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Rocket Propelled Launchers stormed the town in what looks like a revenge mission targeted at both the Military and Police.”
Olukolade also revealed that the troops on patrol around Baga area recovered explosives and rifles concealed in a truck loaded with fish and other commodities.
He said that four suspects had been taken into custody in connection with the incident.
At Konduga also in Borno State, he added that a suicide bomber in a Golf car on Friday crashed into a checkpoint killing himself, a policeman and three Vigilante Youth members.
The suicide bomber, who targeted a mosque in Konduga, killed the five people and wounded dozens, a security source told Reuters, in an area where Islamist insurgents are mounting attacks almost daily.
The source said Muslims in Konduga, a community in Konduga local government area of Borno State, were observing Friday prayers when the vehicle approached. A local vigilante group stopped the vehicle to inspect it and the bomber then detonated the bomb a few metres away from the mosque, he said.
An eye witness, Mohammadu Sheriff, said he had seen the vigilantes conducting checks on a pick-up van carrying firewood.
“Suddenly it exploded,” he told Reuters on phone. “It would have been more devastating if the bomber had succeeded in driving near the mosque, which had over a thousand people in it.”