Troops of the Nigerian military operating in Maiduguri early hour hours of yesterday repelled attacks from terrorists suspected to be members of the Boko Haram insurgents.
The troops were also said to have recovered a Cobra Armoured vehicle, heavy artillery guns, as well as some machine guns and other weapons from fleeing terrorists.
A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, (DDI) Major General Chris Olukolade in Abuja said an extensive cordon and search is ongoing as part of the mopping up operation to determine details of the heavy casualties suffered by the terrorists.
Olukolade further said scores of the terrorists have died in the course of the attack, while many of them were also captured with wounds.
He said three Gulf cars loaded with explosives were also destroyed.
According to the statement “troops in Konduga successfully repelled terrorists’ attacks twice on Sunday.
“Some of the troops however lost their lives in the series of operations to repel the terrorists today. Those that were wounded have been evacuated for appropriate medical treatment.
“The 24 hour curfew imposed in the course of the operation is expected to be lifted as soon as mopping operation is concluded.
Citizens will be allowed to go about their lawful activities from 6 am Monday, January 26, 2015.
“Meanwhile, exclusive coordinated air campaigns have taken over from ground forces in Monguno, as troops had to retreat from the location after the Brigade Commander and some of the troops were wounded while repelling terrorists attack on the town today”.
The DDI said calm has been restored in Maiduguri and Konduga as operation continues with patrols and surveillance.
However an unconfirmed security source hinted that during the confrontation, up to 200 militants were killed by the federal troops under the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, while some reports said about 59 insurgents were killed.
It was gathered that hundreds of heavily armed insurgents tried to gain entrance into the town through Jinikin-Moronti, at the outskirts on the road leading Maiduguri to Damaturu along Jos-Kano highway and close to two major housing estates, 1000 and 707.
The terrorists group were confronted by eagle eye soldiers and other security operatives at the 33 Battalion Barrack at the entrance to the town.
The battle raged from between 12:30 am and about 3:30am with the soldiers at the barrack assisted by their colleagues from other various formations within the town.
Other security operatives and members of the youth vigilante group joined in the mission as the insurgents were successfully repelled.
Sources said at the end of the encounter, nine soldiers were believed to have been killed as well.
In another development, reports coming from Adamawa indicate that the border villages of Michika local government area in Adamawa State have been attacked by the insurgents killing several lives and destroying many properties belonging to the villagers over the weekend.
Reports said that the insurgents struck Saturday evening at about 6:00 pm in their hundreds mostly on motor cycles and few racketeering vehicles as they unleash their victims mercilessly.
One of the escapees from Garta village who identify himself as Vandu Kainu who spoke to journalists on phone said the insurgents pounced on them unceremoniously around 6:00 pm raiding homes and shops.
He said, “They burnt most of the houses after looting them, as most people had to climb the nearby mountains to save their lives.
“For now I can’t say the number of casualties as we are still in the bush, but they slaughtered many people like rams.
They also abducted many trapped residents, mostly youths and women,’’ he said.
Confirming the attacks, member representing Michika in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Adamu Kamale said that, ‘’the militant Boko Haram have attacked our villages killing people, they slaughtered many like rams and burnt houses.
“They kidnapped many youths and women.
“They attacked Mbororo, Shahu, Liddle, Garta, Kamale and Ghumci. The attack continued since last Friday and no presence of security operatives in the affected areas.
“We are calling on the government to come to our rescue, some of the fleeing residents are now trapped on mountains,’’ he said.
Also commenting on the development, the spokesman of the local vigilante group in the state, Mr. Young Maurice said it is true that the Boko Haram insurgents have launched attack on some villages in Michika because when they were mobilizing in Garta town about 300 of them, my men on the mountains reported to me and i informed the military for them to strike on the air using fighter jets.
Report said no fewer than 10,000 Higgi people of Michika mostly farmers are now living as refugees in Yola, the state capital and its environs, while Michika and other towns in the neighbouring Madagali the home towns of the state governor Bala James Ngillari, the speaker of the state Assembly Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri as well as the former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan Ahmad Ali Gulak are still under Boko Haram territory.
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima has called on citizens of the State to be calm, reassuring that security forces are making frantic efforts to safeguard lives and property which, he noted, was evident in the patriotic manner the armed forces repelled an attack by insurgents on Maiduguri, capital of Borno, earlier on Sunday.
Shettima said the Government was screening and taking records of surviving victims from Monguno with a view to accommodating them and offering them immediate palliatives as internally displaced persons.