Borno residents flee as soldiers, Boko Haram fighters exchange fire

Mon Dec 17th, 2018 - Borno

By Kingsley Omonobi
BUJA—Residents of Molai, a village four kilometres off Maiduguri, Borno State capital, are currently on the run following a heavy gunfire between soldiers and Boko Haram fighters.

A resident told TheCable that the Army has mobilised troops to the area to repel the fighters who struck yesterday.

Molai is the only village in that axis where there has been no insurgent attack in the last two months. Dalori, Konduga, Dala Shuwa, Dala Karamsu, Mammanti, Zabarmari, all surrounding villages, have been attacked recently.

There have been concerns over resurgence of Boko Haram attacks in Borno State.

On Friday, insurgents invaded Gudumbali, Guzamala Local Government Area of the state, dislodging soldiers and carting away guns.

Some of the soldiers affected in the operation, the third in the last one month, are currently taking refuge at a military location in Damasak, a nearby town.

One day later, at least 12 farmers were killed during an invasion on Zabarmari community.

Speaking, yesterday, Audu Zabarmari, a resident of the area, said: “Boko Haram jihadists killed seven farmers in the Zabarmari rice farm on Saturday.

“We discovered additional five bodies today (yesterday) and several other farmers are still missing.”

Audu said he could not ascertain the number of people killed as the search was still ongoing.

In what seem to be intensified attacks on farmers, the insurgents have reportedly killed not less than 40 farmers and destroyed more than 200 hectares of farmland in the last two months.

While the military said it has intensified efforts to end the attacks, Abubakar Elkanemi, Shehu of Borno, recently raised the alarm over Boko Haram siege.

“Nobody can dare move out of Maiduguri by 10 kilometres without being confronted, attacked by Boko Haram,” he had said when President Muhammadu Buhari visited last month.

“Quite a number of farmers are being killed and kidnapped on a daily basis around Molai General Area, which is just 10 kilometres away from the metropolis, along Maiduguri -Damboa -Biu Road.”

Terrorists in disguise

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army said, yesterday, that its troops located at Gudumbaliin, Borno State, last Friday, repelled an attack by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, who disguised as civilians in Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, camps.

The terrorists took advantage of the ongoing distribution of relief materials by the Nigerian Army at Gudumbali and opened fire on the troops,an army source said.

The trucks conveying the relief materials were set ablaze.

However, the troops fought gallantly and inflicted heavy casualties on them, military sources said.

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A soldier was killed during the encounter, while another was wounded and a Cobra Armoured Personnel Carrier and a truck belonging to the unit were damaged, the source added.

Similarly, the troops recovered bodies of some of the neutralised terrorists, a large quantity of ammunition and eight Rocket Propelled Grenades Charges, the source added.

A statement by Col OnyeamaNwachukwu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, said: “The troops have since been reinforced and normalcy has returned to the area.”

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source: Vanguard