The 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Borno State, has formally confirmed Monday morning’s attacks in the troubled town by the Boko Haram militant sect.
The spokesman of the Division, Col. Mohammed Dole, made the confirmation in a statement sent to newsmen but he did not, shed light on the casualties the Army and Airforce suffered, or the civilian toll. He merely said the sect had been repelled the insurgents after inflicting “serious casualties” on them and that the military are in full control of the situation.
SaharaReporters has however gathered that dozens of corpses have been taken to several hospitals in the state capital.
“The situation around Jimtilo and Maiduguri International Airport General Areas [is] now calm and under control,” the statement said. “Our troops supported by Nigerian Air force aircrafts are presently pursuing the terrorists towards the Maiduguri- Beneshiekh- Damaturu road.”
He urged members of the public to remain calm and to comply with the 24 hours curfew imposed by the Borno State Government, adding that it would be reviewed periodically as the situation improves.
It remains unclear how Boko Haram militants are still able to stroll into Maiduguri and lay a frontal attack on the soldiers or wipe out civilians despite years of heavy Nigerian Army presence under stringent rules and air cover, as well as several months of emergency regulations.