Breeze Reporters

Army, Boko Haram In Fierce Gun Battle As Terrorists Attack Baga, Monguno

Two communities in Borno have come under Boko Haram attack in three days.

The communities are Baga town and Monguno Local government area, both in Borno, northeast Nigeria.

In Baga town, members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) reportedly overan the Headquarters 7 Brigade Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in Baga in the evening of 26 December 2018 and also launched attack on Nigerian Navy (NN) troops at the Naval Base at Doron Baga, on the morning of 27 December 2018.

The terrorists reportedly captured and hoisted its flag in the town but the Army debunked the report saying its soldiers were in full control of Baga.

Online medium, TheCable quoted a resident identified as Labbo Dan-Baga as saying “Boko Haram has hoisted its flag in Baga… We went to the mosque to pray and discovered we were surrounded by Boko Haram,” he said.

“They told us not to panic as we prayed together… they said they were not going to kill any civilian. And that they are from the Abu-Mossad Albarnawi’s ISWAP faction. They told us to stay in the town or leave if we want to. They dressed in browned caftan with army boots. Some completely covered their faces with mask,” the resident said.

Breezereporters gathered that the Nigerian Air Force jets raced to the town and airstrike some of the terrorist location in the town.

The Nigerian Air Force in a statement said, ”Upon receipt of the information of the attack, the Air Task Force (ATF) of Operation LAFIYA DOLE immediately dispatched a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform along with 2 Mi-35M Helicopter Gunships to provide support for the troops to repel the attack.

”The NAF ISR aircraft, which was overhead the troops location as at 7.15pm, also worked closely with a Nigerien Air Force and another allied ISR aircraft that were also in the operation area at the time of the attack.

”The ISR platforms were in contact with the ground troops and assisted in directing their fire against the terrorists, while the helicopter gunships engaged the terrorists at isolated locations destroying some of their vehicles and neutralizing some fighters.

Meanwhile, some communities in Monguno local government area also came under Boko Haram attack on Friday.

Boko Haram fighters reportedly stormed Kekeno, one of the affected villages around 6pm and engaged soldiers on ground in a gun battle.

“The terrorists came well prepared. They had different anti-aircraft guns and mounted it in different locations,” a resident said.

Boko Haram has recently increased attacks on Nigerian territory as the country approaches general elections in February 2019.

Adeyemi Olalemi

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