Troops in fresh shoot out with Boko Haram in Borno …Insurgents Killed, Six Soldiers Injured

For about two hours yesterday, soldiers  were locked in a fresh shoot-out with Boko Haram insurgents  on  the  Damaturu-Benishek-Maiduguri road.

Benishek was the scene of a massacre by Boko Haram in 2013.

Over 100 residents were killed in that attack.

An unknown   number of insurgents were shot dead in yesterday’s encounter.

Six soldiers were wounded.

The Defence Headquarters has deployed more troops to the area to guarantee safe passage for travellers.

The insurgents had, at about noon yesterday, attempted to take-over the  road.

Security agencies were contacted and troops were immediately drafted to the area.

What followed was a gun battle between the soldiers and the insurgent.

A reliable military source said: “Our troops engaged the Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday in fierce counter-attacks. Some of the insurgents fell but only six soldiers were injured. The encounter lasted about two hours.

“The insurgents had planned to block access to Yobe State from Maiduguri but we foiled this bid. We are suspecting that these insurgents were trying to relocate to Yobe State which has remained calm for a while.

“You know the heat has been on the insurgents in Borno State where they have been restricted to Sambisa forest and some border towns with Cameroon. They are looking for safe ends to operate.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “I cannot give you the specific number of the insurgents that were killed because we are still mopping up the area. Six soldiers were however wounded.”

The claim could not be independently verified.

More troops have however been  deployed in the axis to guarantee safe passage for travellers.

The source said: “Besides air patrol, troops are also on the trail of the fleeing insurgents. Benishek-Damaturu route has been a major part where Boko Haram managed cells.

“It was from the same axis that the insurgents invaded the Air Force base in Maiduguri. You can now see why we asked for the extension of the emergency rule.”

The Yobe State Government last week  rejected the extension of Emergency Rule in the state by President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego, said  the state of emergency has not stopped the insurgents from carrying out attacks.

He said: “For instance, over the six months of emergency rule and later over the second, we have seen some of the worst attacks by Boko Haram in Yobe State.

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