22 Terrorists, 4 Soldiers and 22 Villagers Die In A Clash Between Boko Haram Terrorists And Joint Multinational Force (JMF) In Borno State
Ahmed Mari, Maiduguri and Wisdom Patrick
Forty-eight people were confirmed dead in fresh attack by Boko Haram insurgents who struck yesterday in Damask, a Borno State village. Those dead included 15 villagers, who were returning home to count their losses 48 hours after a similar attack in Mainok town, which left over 30 persons dead, 22 of the terrorists and four soldiers.
Confirming the attack and death yesterday to The UNION, a top military source said the three soldiers were members of the Joint Multinational Force which had moved into the border village through Chad to confront the terrorist who had made the Damaturu- Maiduguri road impassable for the inhabitants.
He said: “From the intelligence available to me men of the Joint Military Force had moved in from the Chad section to route the terrorists from the road and in the ensuing exchange of gun fire, we lost three men while 22 of the terrorists were killed. Unfortunately the terrorists had killed 23 civilians in the village, which borders Yobe and Borno states.
A cab driver who witnessed the attack told The UNION that Boko Haram fighters carried on days of attacks on the only safe route linking other parts of the country with Maiduguri, killing many people before fleeing on attack by soldiers into neighbouring Cameroun. The attack has halted commuting along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway again for the fourth time in a week as security operatives battle to prevent Eid-el-Fitri holiday travellers from driving into an ambush by the insurgents.
Other villagers who spoke to our reporter said Warsala, agrarian community, which about 5km from Ngamdu, located on the boundary between Borno and Yobe states, was the latest community along the Kano-Maiduguri highway that is being attacked by the insurgents. The community had last Friday buried 10 persons killed by the terrorists.
According to the villagers, Tuesday night attack on Warsala came barely 24 hours after the same terrorists attacked Mainok, a village located along the same highway and about 40km away from Warsala. A traveller along the route, Hamza Baba, told reporters yesterday that he drove through a village practically deserted, just as he sighted some smoking trailer trucks by the road side.
“The trucks were attacked and burnt by Boko Haram terrorists who shot their drivers,” said Baba, a government worker travelling to his home town for the Eid-el-Fitri celebration. According to him, another trailer truck conveying commodities to Maiduguri was attacked, and the driver killed early this morning in Ngamdu village about 2 kilometres away from Warsala, which is a village under Yobe State.
“This has forced the village to start fleeing their homes en masse this morning. I saw more than 3,000 of them leaving; many were trekking, some were conveyed in trucks. The Damaturu-Maiduguri highway is becoming a dead zone; this is the fourth attack this week from Monday.
I wonder why intensive patrol measures is not being launched to stop this,” said Baba. According to Premium Times, on Monday, reports from the attacked town of Mainok in Kaga Local Government Areas Of Borno State, indicated that at least 30 persons were killed, and many others injured by rampaging Boko Haram terrorists, security sources said. Mainok is a town located about 65 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The attack lasted about five hours as the gunmen took their time to ensure that no single edifice in the village was left untouched, even as more than 30 villagers and travellers were said to have been killed during the attack. Sources said more than a hundred Boko Haram terrorists had, at about 5:30pm, stormed Mainok town and opened fire on civilians, killing at least 40 helpless civilians.
More than 30 vehicles that were trapped near the village were also burnt as well as hundreds of homes. Abubakar Danmalam, an operative of the Civilian-JTF, who visited Mainok on Tuesday, said “about 30 persons, and that include those travellers that were trapped on the way while travelling along Maiduguri – Damaturu roads,” were murdered.
”We have buried some of the people that can be buried but some of them were burnt beyond recognition; some of our foodstuffs were carted away,” he said. “President Muhammadu Buhari made a strong statement by his decision to appoint two highly competent sons of Borno to the offices of the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Army Staff. “I think his strategy was to get people with ancestral knowledge of the Borno terrain. Major General Tukur Buratai is even a direct victim of Boko Haram attacks.
He lost family members when his residence was attacked earlier this year in Buratai, a town in Biu local government area. Monguno was destroyed and once occupied by Boko Haram and that is where the new NSA, Retired Major General Babagana Monguno hails from. In fact, a key family member of General Monguno is still being held captive by Boko Haram insurgents.
“These two Generals are from Borno, they know exactly where it pinches and most importantly, they understand the terrain and can easily connect with communities to get local support. Added to them is also the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar who hails from Bauchi also in the northeast. AVM Abubakar spent many of his formative years in military here in Borno State. He has spent over 10 years in Borno, he knows the terrain very well also and connect with the people