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 Troops repel fresh B’Haram attack on Maiduguri, 82 killed

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eddyvic
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PostSubject: Troops repel fresh B’Haram attack on Maiduguri, 82 killed   Mon 02 Feb 2015, 6:32 am

About 82 persons were killed on
Sunday when Boko Haram made a
second attempt within a week to
capture Maiduguri, Borno State.
Security sources in the troubled
city gave the figure just as a lone
suicide bomber killed himself and
seven others in front of the
residence of a Peoples Democratic
Party House of Representatives
candidate in Potiskum, Yobe State.
The PUNCH gathered that unlike
last week’s incident when the
insurgents were very close to
Maiduguri before they were
repelled, soldiers halted them
almost 20 kilometres from the city.
Several weapons, arms and
ammunition, including two
Armoured Personnel Carriers, two
artillery guns and 17 Toyota Hilux
vans were seized from them, the
Defence Headquarters said in a
statement.
The DHQ had earlier in a tweet
posted on the official twitter
handle on Sunday said that the
military inflicted a heavy casualty
on the militants.
Security sources in Maiduguri had
told journalists that 10 civilians and
two soldiers were among the 82
persons killed in the gunfire.
They said the insurgents were
approaching Maiduguri from four
major points – Ngom, Dalwa, Molai
and Jawuri- when they were
confronted by troops backed by
two Nigerian Air Force fighter jets
which carried out bombardment of
their locations.
The sources said that 50 of the
insurgents were killed in Dalwa,
where the gun battle was fiercest.
The remaining 20 met their
waterloo in Ngom, Molai and Jawari.
But a member of a youth vigilante
group, Abba Modu, who claimed to
have been involved in the battle,
said he believed that 500 Boko
Haram members must have been
killed.
He added that five soldiers were
injured.
The spokesman for the youth
vigilante group in Borno State,
Jubrin Gunda, said, “It was a great
battle with them at Dalwa, about 20
kilometers from Maiduguri where
many of them were killed. Others
ran into the bushes.”
Another of the group, Abba
Ibrahim, said the insurgents struck
a few minutes after the early
morning Islamic prayers.
He said, “The insurgents attacked
from Ngom (the border with Mafa),
Dalwa (the border with Konduga),
Molai (the border with Damboa)
and Jawuri (around Njimtilo, border
with Kaga on the Damaturu Road).
“They launched two rocket
propelled grenades into Gindari
Polo area killing many civilians. But
they were successfully repelled by
the military in conjunction with
members of the youth vigilante.
Some youths also came out in their
numbers to push back the
insurgents.
“We killed many of them but others
ran away through the railway
heading to Benesheikh and Goniri.”
A resident of Molai, Garba Molai,
said they were told by soldiers
around 6pm to flee their homes so
that they could engage the
insurgents without any hindrance.
He added that the military, the
civilian JTF and SARS assisted by
fighter jets successfully repelled
the terrorists.
Molai said, “Many insurgents were
killed. Some civilians were also
killed while two artillery vehicles,
vans, motorcycles and other arms
and ammunition were recovered.
“Many people have also fled the
town except a few of us that
assisted the security operatives.”
Elijah Bwala of Damboa village said
on the telephone “the insurgents
attacked a pure water factory, Kuru
Pure Water, with an RPG which
killed four persons.”
Bwala lamented that Sunday
service in his church was abruptly
stopped when worshippers started
hearing gunshots.
It was learnt that during the
fighting, a 70-year-old man, his
granddaughter and a little girl
were killed by a tree branch struck
down by a stray RPG in Zannari,
Abuja Sheraton in Maisandari ward
of Maiduguri.
The DHQ in its tweet on Sunday
did not give the exact number of
those killed in the operation.
“Flash: Attack on Maiduguri
successfully repelled. Many
terrorists were killed as we
inflicted heavy casualties on them,”
the tweet read.
It later said in a statement by its
Director, Defence Information, Maj.
Gen Chris Olukolade, that the
operation was part of the
comprehensive military mission
carried out in collaboration with
Nigeria’s neighbours.
The statement read in part, “The
terrorists, who in their disarray
strayed towards Bama, Ngom, Alou,
Delwa and Mafa in the night, have
now been effectively contained.
“The affected locations have been
secured and soldiers wounded are
being treated.
“Patrols and pursuit of fleeing
terrorists is continuing in
coordination with allied forces.
“Meanwhile, the terrorists attack on
Maiduguri in the early hours of
Sunday was quickly contained. The
terrorists incurred massive
casualty. The situation is calm as
mopping up operation in the
affected area is ongoing.”
The DHQ said that the current
operation being carried out with
the MNJTF was meant to engage the
terrorists in all fronts in the area.
It stated that comprehensive
military action involved inputs from
the Armed Forces of the countries
in the Chad Basin such as Nigeria,
Chad, Niger, and Cameroon.
Twin suicide bombings kill five
in Gombe
Twin bomb explosions also rocked
Gombe metropolis in Gombe
State, killing five persons,
including the bombers.
The state Police command
spokesman, Fwaje Atajiri, confirmed
the bomb attacks but said
investigations were ongoing.
The first blast was at the gate of
the old Gombe Market while the
second was at the timber market
which is directly behind the 301
Artillery Regiment Quarter Guard of
the Nigerian Army and close to a
military checkpoint.
In the market explosion, a man and
woman believed to be the suicide
bombers were involved.
They were said to have alighted
from a motorcycle at the main gate
but declined to submit themselves
for a search by guards.
A source said as they headed back
to where their motorcycle was
parked, explosives hidden inside a
food flask carried by the woman
went off, killing them and injuring
one of the guards.
A kiosk owner, a food vendor and an
on-looker were said to have been
killed in the second incident. Many
people, including a soldier,
sustained injuries.
The state Police Command has
however banned the use of
motorcycles in Gombe from Sunday
(yesterday) till Wednesday
because of President Goodluck
Jonathan’s campaign in the city.
Also in Abuja, the PDP praised the
gallantry of officers and men of the
Nigerian Armed Forces for repelling
insurgents.
Its National Publicity Secretary,
Olisa Metuh, said in a statement on
Sunday, that the members of the
armed forces had shown
exceptional patriotism while
risking their lives to protect those
of other citizens.
He said what was needed at this
point in time was “for all Nigerians
to close ranks and support them
with words of encouragement,
prayers and helpful information
where necessary.”
Metuh said, “This is no longer the
time to dwell on politics or engage
in unnecessary blame games. We
cannot continue to seek political
capital while terrorists slaughter
and maim our people.
“To win this battle therefore, all
citizens must come together, stand
with our government and the
military and present a common
front against terrorism irrespective
of our religious, political and ethnic
differences.”
The Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri
on Sunday lamented the effects of
the Boko Haram activities on the
city.
The Diocese, in a statement by its
Head, Directorate of
Communication, Rev. Fr. Gideon
Obasogie, said it was unfortunate
that Christians had for the second
time not had the opportunity of not
worshipping on Sunday.
The statement entitled, “A culture
of savagery and blood bath,” read,
“Residents of Maiduguri are really
having a hard time in the face of
the Boko Haram slaughter. The
attacks have become ever frequent
as they have drawn close to the
city.
“Christians in the capital city are
really paying the prize for their
faith. This is the second Sunday
when we have been forced either
to attend Mass/ Sunday service
lately or never to attend at all.
“We cannot even have a sound
gathering on a Sunday to thank God
for his love thus far and most
particularly to pray for peaceful
elections. The threats and
distractions have become totally
unbearable.
“The ferocious attempt by the
unrepentant radical Islamist
militants to overrun the capital
city of Maiduguri has been very
frightening. We wonder and
sometimes, we think aloud when
all these runnings will stop. When
will this culture of savagery and
bloodletting end. Is it that as a
nation we lack the inner capacity to
abate it?”
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