A few hours after Nigerian troops scored yet another decisive victory over Boko Haram fighters in an overnight battle in Konduga, Borno State, army officers at Defense Headquarters in Abuja as well as field commanders in Nigeria’s northeast zone predicted that there would be a new turn in the prolonged and bloody fight against the Islamist insurgents.
“We are now doing more in terms of providing soldiers with the weapons and logistics to battle these Boko Haram people and crush them,” said a colonel, who is based in Maiduguri. He added, “You can see from what happened in Konduga that, once our troops have the equipment they need, it’s a matter of time before we deal with Boko Haram.”
An officer at the Defense Headquarters in Abuja echoed the sentiment. He said the Nigerian army has the personnel and know-how to drive Boko Haram fighters out of the northeast and thwart the Islamist terrorist group in other parts of Nigeria. According to the officer, Nigerian security forces are doing a better job of gathering intelligence about the insurgents’ plans, including their tactical maneuvers.
“We now know what they [Boko Haram] are planning to do before they do it. This intelligence will enable us [to] ambush them and deal with them squarely, both in the northeast and other places.”
The new upbeat mood is boosted by the military’s decisive victories over Boko Haram in a series of battles for control of Konduga. After suffering two big defeats in the town, the Islamist militants regrouped yesterday to launch a fresh attack on the town. However, they once again met a better-prepared, superior army that has repeatedly routed the Islamist insurgents three times over the last week, and twice in the last 48 hours. The latest battle, which started early yesterday evening and continued till the early hours of today, ended with another victory for Nigerian troops.
More than 400 Boko Haram insurgents were killed in the battles, with Nigerian troops capturing four Buffalo vehicles from the insurgents. The vehicles were mounted with heavy artillery weaponry.
Triumphant Nigerian troops also successfully dislodged the militants from their base inMafa, some 14 miles from Maiduguri. “We were able to pursue them all the way to Ajiri village,” said one field officer.