The Nigerian Army on Thursday reacted to the continuous Boko Haram attacks on Damasak town in the Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State.
The army stated that the latest attack on Wednesday was carried out by the terrorists who sneaked in from the northern flank of the town “in active collaboration with some local informants."
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Muhammed Yerima, who was silent on the casualties recorded either by troops or by the insurgents, explained that the troops were now patrolling the area and normalcy was returning gradually.
He said, “The report in a section of the media that Boko Haram terrorists have overrun and are in control of Damasak town is misinformation. There was an attack by the terrorists sometime on Wednesday but it was effectively repelled by troops.
“As we speak, troops are in total control of the general area and as can be seen in the attached video, the Commander of 5 Brigade, Brig Gen S.S. Tilawan, is driving round the town earlier this afternoon to assess the general situation following the cowardly attack by the terrorists who sneaked in from the northern flank yesterday in active collaboration with some local informants.
“The Nigerian Army wishes to assure residents of Damasak and adjoining communities to remain calm as mop operations by the troops are ongoing to flush out the remnant of the terrorists who attacked a section of the town.”
Boko Haram militants in gun trucks had attacked residents who were observing the Ramadan fasting break and prayer in Damasak and Gajiram towns in the Mobbar and Nganzai Local Government Areas of Borno State respectively.
Security sources had stated that the terrorists invaded the two towns on a reprisal because the military had killed some of their commanders in the Lake Chad region a week earlier.
“The fighters came around when people were breaking for Ramadan on Tuesday in order to catch the troops unawares. But the Air Task Force component was on standby to repel them. That was the first day of this year's Ramadan and the terrorists wanted to destabilize the residents of the two towns,” a security official had stated.
“They were on a reprisal over the recent military air bombardments on their strongholds in Tudun Wulgo, Zari, Tumbun Alhaji, Kusuma, Sigir in Ngala and Arijallamari, in Abadam, Marte and Ngala LGAs which resulted in the killing of top Islamic State West African Province leaders.
“Some of the commanders that died in the airstrikes included; Mohammad Fulloja, Ameer Mallam Bello, Ba'a kaka Tunkushe, Abu Muktar Al-Ansari, Ameer Abba Kaka, Abu Huzaifa, Ameer Modu Kwayem, while Goni Mustapha who was the Chief Imam of the ISWAP, escaped with bullet wounds,” another source said.
Also on Saturday, Boko Haram fighters invaded Damasak town, setting fire this time to United Nations facilities and forcing humanitarian workers to flee for their lives.
SaharaReporters had learnt that the terrorists, aided by their deadlier ISWAP fighters, set fire to the UN office and to at least three other international charity organisations contiguous to the UN facility.