More facts emerged yesterday as to how Boko Haram insurgents stormed a military facility in northern Borno on Thursday, killed nearly fifty soldiers, stole fighting equipment and ransacked a neighbouring community in search of food.
Locals and credible sources in the military said the terrorists used the uniforms, guns and vehicles that they carted away during in previous siege on army formations in parts of Borno and Yobe States to launch the latest attack in Zari village, a community in Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.
A soldier said the insurgents, fully kitted in military apparels that was difficult to distinguish them from real Nigerian soldiers, passed through many villages to get their target and succeeded in inflicting heavy casualty.
“They (Boko Haram) used all the fighting equipment they took away in Jilli in Yobe State in July to fight Zari,” he said.
“Our men fought back gallantly but they were overwhelmed, forcing them to retreat after many had been killed. The terrorists hiding far away from the military facility chased some of our fleeing soldiers and killed them,” he said.
An officer who spoke in confidence described the incident as “deadly,” saying the raining season occasioned by poor management of security reports and shortcomings of fighting equipment were responsible for the recent setback in the fight against terrorism in the North East.
“But our officers and men equally dealt a deadly blow on the terrorists; Dozens of them had been killed and many more escaped with life threatening wounds,” he said.
Kime Alhaji Baana, a resident of Mobbar said there was serious fight between the Boko Haram and the Nigerian troops. “Fighter jets later came to the rescue of the Nigerian ground troops and succeeded in neutralizing dozens of Boko Haram insurgents. Up till this moment there are many bodies in the bushes,” he said.
On Sunday, it was reported that thirty soldiers and one officer had been killed when Boko Haram fighters in large numbers stormed Zari village.
But an update from sources yesterday indicated that the corpses of 16 more soldiers and an officer had been recovered in the bushes, bringing the total to 48.
The Army had on Friday confirmed the attack Zari military facility even as the spokesman of the Theatre Command in Maiduguri, Onyema Nwakchukwu, said no casualty on the side of the Nigerian security forces.