Monday, September 28THE LEGISLATURE

Several Soldiers Killed as Boko Haram Attacked Military Formations in Borno

There are reports that several soldiers were killed while others missing when suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked military formations in the northern part of Borno State between Friday and Saturday night.

The insurgents struck Gudumbali on Friday evening at the time the soldiers were about taking their meal.

Gudumbali is the headquarters of Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno State, where Metele, another military base, was attacked that led to the death of many soldiers last month.

They rode on military vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns. According to a source, the insurgents shot sporadically, firing RPGs towards the military base. 

“Many soldiers lost their lives; they were many,”  the source said.

“The Boko Haram terrorists came in large numbers, and although the troops initially stood their ground, they later fled into bushes. We slept in the bush between Friday and Saturday morning. We got to Gubio yesterday. Many are still there, because they only came for soldiers, not civilians, except those of us working with the soldiers.”

A soldier, who preferred not to be named, gave an insight into the invasion, stating that the attackers were trained terrorists. 

“Although we engaged them, they overpowered us,” he said. “They were well-trained terrorists, not those we are used to fighting. In fact, they handled anti-aircraft guns and RPGs better. We didn’t have options, because we were running out of ammunition and there was no reinforcement. Some soldiers were killed and dozens fled to Damasak.”

The insurgents continued their attacks in Kukawa town and also invaded military and Police posts, sacking the security operatives.

An official said Kukawa town came under the siege of insurgents, and pleaded for the support of the Air Force, as many civilians are currently trapped in Kukawa town.

Although many of the civilians were not hurt, there was no presence of soldiers in Kukawa town as of Sunday afternoon.

Muhammad Kormi, a resident of Kukawa who arrived Maiduguri on Sunday, said the insurgents carted away many trucks of food items and burnt down the military base in Kukawa. 

“As I am speaking to you, military personnel have withdrawn completely from Kukawa,” Kormi told SaharaReporters.

“We don’t have any protection for our people in Kukawa. Many residents, out of fear, are currently in Monguno town. They didn’t attack civilians, but we can’t trust them. I think they solely focused more on the military,

There is another version of the report that because soldoers were set to take their meal in the evening when the terrorists attacked, there was little they could do.

The Nigerian Army, however, said only one soldier was killed in the attack. The army also said it successfully repelled the attack and killed many of the insurgents.

According to a top military source, the troops were ambushed by a large number of Boko Haram fighters who crept upon the soldiers at the time they were about to be served their evening meals.

“The soldiers were caught off guard on that Friday evening when a container food truck that normally brings their meal arrived the base and soldiers filed out to receive their ration,” said a military source who asked not to be named because he is not allowed to speak to journalists.

“Most of them were not fully kitted, talk less of being armed at the time the Boko Haram terrorists suddenly opened fire on them from nearly all directions.

The source, who is in Damasak, a Nigeria/Niger Republic border town, 79km from Gudumbali, said the Gudumbali military base was “dislodged completely.”

“There were about 700 soldiers at the Gudumbali camp and many of them had to scamper for safety, while some who were badly hit by the ambush paid the supreme sacrifice.
He said an effort was made on Saturday to retrieve corpses of the slain soldiers.

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