The Nigerian Army on Saturday repelled a deadly attack on its troops by Boko Haram at Gudunbale in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno State in the early hours of Saturday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that scores of insurgents in gun trucks and various calibre of arms stormed the town and engaged in fierce battle that lasted for many hours with the troops.
NAN learnt that the fighters were said to be with the Boko Haram faction under the leadership of Abu-Mosad Al-Barnawi.
Malam Bukar Mele, a returnee, told NAN that the attackers invaded the town unexpectedly and asked the villagers to run away for their lives.
Mele said he immediately took his family and began running just as they (Boko Haram) instructed the residents, leaving behind his belongings.
“They told us in Kanuri to vacate the place so that what they came to do will not affect us. So we all took to our heels in different directions for safety,” he said.
Abdul Bari, another local in the area, said the insurgents assured that they did not come with intention to kill civilians.
Bari said: “Their target was the military and not civilians. This is what they told us as they ask us to get out of their sight within a blink of an eye. The insurgents were fully kitted with khaki and covered their faces.
“After one minute, they began shooting from the gun truck facing the military location. There were sounds of sporadic gunshots from many directions. I don’t know what happened but the army was engaging with the terrorists.”
Alhaji Mamman Durkwa, the Deputy Governor of the state, who confirmed the development, said security forces were on top of the situation.
Durkwa said: “It is unfortunate to confirm to you that there was an attack by Boko Haram extremists on a military base and other communities of Gudumbali.
“Thousands of the people who were displaced and spent some years in resettlement camps in Maiduguri have returned back recently after the liberation of those surrounding communities by our gallant security forces.
“I regret to inform you that there was another attack by insurgents in Gudumbali, but I am yet to get the number of casualties.
“I just spoke with the Police Commissioner, Mr Damian Chukwu, and the Brigade Commander in Monguno, both confirmed to me that the attack actually took place, and our security forces were on top of the situation.”
Reacting, Brigadier General Texas Chukwu, Army Director Public Relations, who confirmed the attack on phone, said the troops had promptly repelled the attack and restored sanity in the area.
“I can confirm that there was an attack in Gudumbali, but the situation was brought under control contrary to the report that the Boko Haram had taken total control of the area,” Chukwu said.
NAN recalls that about 2,000 IDPs comprising 200 households had returned to Guzamala to resettle.
The returnees are encouraged to resume their traditional occupation of farming and fishing as well as other socio-economic activities following relative peace in the area.