Top security officials just confirmed to SaharaReporters that Islamist fighters today overwhelmed the 243 battalion of the Nigerian Army stationed at Monguno Barracks. The insurgents killed an undetermined number of soldiers and wounded the brigade commander of the barracks.
Our sources said soldiers who put up resistance to the invading insurgents were killed, adding that many soldiers then ran in different directions. They disclosed that 1,400 soldiers were stationed at the barracks at the time of the attack, adding that military authorities were not aware of their exact whereabouts or how many of them had been killed. “We still don’t know what has happened to them [soldiers], but we know that Boko Haram now controls the barracks and Monguno town,” one officer based in Abuja confirmed.
Despite the losses, Nigerian Defense Headquarters said the military was conducting air raids around the besieged barracks, adding that soldiers had to tactically withdraw from the town due to injuries sustained by the brigade commander and others.
Contrary to our earlier report that Nigerian troops had repelled attacks on the barracks, our sources said the military facility had fallen to the Islamist terrorists. “They [Boko Haram] have gained full control of the barracks, together with all the weapons there,” one senior military source told us over the phone.
The source echoed a statement by another military source in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, that the Islamist fighters had killed many soldiers and a huge number of civilians in Monguno.
Monguno town, home of the overrun barracks, is 85 miles from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
Boko Haram began attacking Monguno and Maiduguri simultaneously since last night, but Nigerian troops succeeded in repelling them from Maiduguri. After an intense battle in the state capital that lasted several hours, Nigerian troops were able to repel the insurgent attack. Nigerian troops said they had killed more than 100 Islamist fighters in the Maiduguri offensive.