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Published On: Thu, Aug 7th, 2014

Boko Haram: Army to retake Damboa

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Army-SoldierBy Mustapha Isah Kwaru in Maiduguri & Joy Baba, Abuja, with agency report

  •  ‘Chief butcher’ still in our custody – Police

Reports from Borno state indicates that the Nigerian military is mobilising to retake Damboa village, allegedly taken over by the Boko Haram sect some weeks ago.

According to the Hausa service of the BBC, monitored yesterday in Abuja, the military has deployed strategies to sack the militants from Danboa and take possession of the area.

The report said about one hundred people, including civilians, who died in Dalwa, Gaura, Bula-bulin Gaura villages, in an encounter since the day before yesterday between the troops and the insurgents.

Some reliable news sources also told the BBC that some of defeated insurgents have left the Damboa area and moved to Gwoza town, where the sect yesterday afternoon reportedly killed about 100 people, before seizing the town.

The attack, which occurred in the early morning hours of yesterday. Security sources and fleeing residents said those killed could be about a hundred.

Peoples Daily could not independently ascertain the veracity of the claim as at the time of filing this report, as the spokesperson for the Defence Headquarters, Major-General Chris Olukolade as well as the Coordinator of the National Information Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, could not be reached for comment.

It could be recalled that the residents of the area were just recovering after Boko Haram invaded the community in June and killed 200 residents.

Our correspondent reported that the latest onslaught in Gwoza and its subsequent ‘capture’ by the terrorists is the second incident in the recent times after the insurgents dislodged Nigerian troops stationed to secure the town.

Less than a month, a similar incident occurred in Damboa town, which claimed 16 soldiers six policemen, which included a commanding officer of 195 Battalion and the divisional police officer of the area. This compelled security operatives to withdraw from the area.

After the attack on Damboa, several attempts by soldiers to return to the area were reportedly thwarted by the daring gunmen, who hid in the bush along the highway and continued to ambush the security forces.

The sect had, two months ago, killed Emir of Gwoza on his way to attend the burial of the Emir of Gombe.

In a related development, the Nigeria Police yesterday denied rumours that the alleged Boko Haram “chief-butcher” of Balmo forest in Bauchi state, Zakari Mohammed, who is in their custody, has absconded.

A statement, signed by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Frank Mba, urged the public that rumours to the effect that Zakari, who was arrested on July 15, after the army raided Balmo forest, in Bauchi state, has escaped from police custody are unfounded and should be disregarded.

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