Jude Johnson and Kareem Haruna
Reports coming from credible sources indicate that Boko Haram terrorists may have taken control of Baga town, Borno State, Northeast Nigeria, following a series of heated battle with Nigerian soldiers.
Earlier reports confirmed how the insurgent attacked the military bases in Baga a night long shootout on Wednesday.
The Nigerian Army confirmed the attack at the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) base and death of a Nigerian Navy personnel but said it repelled the terrorists.
Confirming the assault, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen.Sani Usman, assured that a reinforcement, earlier deployed to Baga, were in hot pursuit of the insurgents.
But reports coming from military sources reveal, however, that the Boko Haram fighters were not fleeing but still in control of the commercial town as at Thursday night.
“The Boko Haram are in full control of Baga and environs,” one top military source said in Maiduguri, highlighting that all the reinforcements sent from neighbouring locations also ran into deadly ambushes.
“Reinforcement suffered casualties and had to return.
“All the reinforcement from Baga have been met with ambushes at Cross Kauwa, 30kms to Baga.
“So far, the Brigade Commander, 3 officers and 21 soldiers have arrived Monguno as at 4 p.m.
“More escaping soldiers are still being expected and some others who survived with serious injuries were reported to have been moved to Maiduguri by civilians.”
The source said the insurgents seemed to be in control of the area as they continued to carry out coordinated ambushes to foil all the reinforced deployment of troops.
“Even the Civilian JTF from Maiduguri and Gubio who tried to bypass Cross Kauwa to go through Gudumbali (west of Baga) were equally ambushed and had to retreat,” said the source.
“It was also disclosed that the Boko Haram fighters were reported to have addressed the civilians left in Baga town, warning them of the evil fate of saboteurs.
“Meanwhile, the strategic and highly valued multi barrel rocket launcher (MBRL) amongst other equipment is reported to have been captured by the Boko Haram,” the source said.
Baga, a fishing community, fell to the terrorists in 2015 but was retaken by the Nigerian military backed by the armed forces of Niger and Chad.
Its location and the activities of Boko Haram in the area make independent verification of the claims difficult.
Credits | Premium Times