A Nigerian Army desert warfare crew and gun-truck with a Browning M2

A Nigerian Army desert warfare crew and Landcruiser gun-truck armed with a Browning M2 12.7 mm calibre heavy machine gun

30 December, 2013

There were reports of intensive fighting Sunday between the Nigerian security forces and suspected members of Boko Haram Islamic insurgents at Alafa Village, a strategic town close to Bama, Borno State where an attack took place on a military barracks two weeks ago.

A source within the military disclosed to THISDAY last night that the military engaged the insurgents who swarmed the village in large numbers early yesterday morning with sophisticated weapons and armoury, including armoured personnel carriers (APC), mounted with anti-aircraft guns, after being dislodged from Bama and other towns in which they previously launched failed attacks.

According to the source, the insurgents who had some foreign assistance, were successfully repelled by the Nigerian military, which was supported from the air following the deployment of Alpha jets from Adamawa State.

The source said:“Those guys (insurgents) entered Alafa village Sunday morning, but were caught in a surprise military attack and air bombardment.

“The Boko Haram men, many of them came with APCs mounted with sophisticated anti-aircraft guns. However, Alfa jets from Adamawa arrived to support the ground forces.

“What we are witnessing now is that the terrorists have acquired more sophisticated weapons, as they are no longer using rifles but anti-aircraft guns.

“However, special forces have also been deployed from different parts of the country to Borno for some surgical and highly specialised operations.”

The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade, who confirmed the raging battle, said it was part of the ongoing offensive against the insurgents who within this month had attacked some military locations including Bama Barracks and the Nigerian Air Force Base, Maiduguri.

According to Olukolade, the fighting was in consolidation of the success recorded against the insurgents who had tried to sieze military barracks without success.

He said: “There was intensive fighting yesterday but initiated by our own forces in ground and air operations on the terrorist location spotted at Alafa about 21 kilometres from Bama. It is part of ongoing efforts in search of the terrorists as guided by intelligence.

“The operation was able to inflict vital heavy casualties on the insurgents in that location. Necessary air and land bombardments are continuing in similar locations.”

The DDI also confirmed that specially trained forces had been injected into the mission in the North-east.

He also clarified that the latest posting and redeployment of senior officers was meant to achieve the desired targets of operations in the North-east and other areas of the country that are facing internal insurrections.

“It is meant to re-invigorate the mission as directed from the strategic level at DHQ,” he said.


About beegeagle

BEEG EAGLE -perspectives of an opinionated Nigerian male with a keen interest in Geopolitics, Defence and Strategic Studies
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  1. demola says:

    what exactly is “some foreign assistance”

    • beegeagle says:

      Most probably Chadian and Malian mercenaries.

      Chadian mercs have always been involved even in ethnoreligious clashes everywhere to the east of the Jos Plateau as far as Maiduguri, 627 km away.

      During the 2004 Yelwa-Shendam Crises, a good friend of mine, then a senior Captain and sector commander under the now-defunct 3DISTForce, led the IS operations in that town. During the clashes which took place in February and May 2004 (ultimately leading to a proclamation of emergency rule in Plateau State), nearly 1,500 persons were killed. It turned out that, as was the case during the episodic Maitatsine Uprising of 1980-1985, many Arabic-speaking Chadian mercs were apprehended.

      As for the said APCs, those are probably technicals with higher calibre weapons – possibly 14.5mm AAMGs.

      • beegeagle says:

        Ever since suggestions of hot pursuit operations into Cameroon gained currency on these pages, I have wondered why no references have been made to the very relevant template from Mali.

        Prior to the French invasion of 2013, AQIM and allied groups frequently mounted attacks inside Mauritania and kidnapped persons therefrom. Mauritania severally chased the attackers across the frontier into Mali and launched air strikes against hostile targets inside Mali.

        What I cannot say for certain is if these actions had the blessings of a helpless Mali or if the French forced the Malians to have it that way.

        For the sake of legality, that is precisely the template to be followed as it concerns BH attacks launched from Cameroon. If they do not play ball, the UN statutes permit actions carried out in self-defence, even across frontiers. And NO, France shall get into no war with Nigeria over Cameroon. Last I checked, Nigeria’s trade volume with France exceeded the combined total for West Africa, Chad, Cameroon, Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville put together. France are not dumb.

        We have always heard about the likelihood of France intervening in any conflict between Nigeria and her Francophone neighbours but that has not happened.

        – in April 1983, Chad occupied 19 Nigerian islands in the Lake Chad region. Nigeria counterattacked and retook all the islands while capturing 32 islands on the Chadian side. France did not intervene

        – in 1994, 70,000 Nigerians in the Lake Chad region entered Cameroon and established 33 settlements. When Cameroon tried to collect taxes, the NA stepped to repel the Cameroonian forces and held all 33 communities on lockdown. This continued until the Green Tree Agreement of 2002 began to be effected. France did not intervene

        – in Dec 1993, a Nigerian battalion entered the Bakassi Peninsula. Skirmishes with Cameroonian forces continued with the territory under Nigerian occupation until 2008 when the Nigerians withdrew.

        If France did not butt in during all of those armed conflicts, why would they do so in the face of hot pursuit operations carried out against a group recognised by France as a national security nuisance and labelled global terrorists by the USA?

        We should pursue legitimate courses of action by carrying a lethargic Cameroon and paternalistic France along but let us not be deceived into playing up the France Afrique solidarity beyond what realistically suffices. For the avoidance of doubt, France will not lose Nigeria to gain Cameroon. They are still a capitalist economy and greed drives the business of diplomacy in all capitalist economies.

  2. peccavi says:

    Wind don blow fowl nyash. Welcome to Harmattan!

  3. igbi says:

    I think once again the media called “technicals” APCs.
    Kudos to the army and air force.

  4. Yagazie says:

    The Nigerian media houses should invest in /have properly trained defence correspondents with a genuine interest in/passion for the subject. Thes journalists should also have a modicum of knowledge/ an inkling of correct millitary terms and equipment. In this era of 24 hour access to the internet, where information on millitary equipment is simply a couple of clicks away, the continuous ignorant reporting by some of our lazy nigerian journalists in misleading the public is at best crass/irritating and at worst simply criminal – in either case this is simply unforgiveable.

    • Blackrev says:

      my brother I tire o. imagine calling an attack helicopter a fighter jet, or how they quickly and proudly broadcast a crashed toy as a US drone. our media houses really need to shift focus from having journalists with only political knowledge to defence correspondents and investigative journalism.

      kudos to the military. I’m thinking that village should have been surrounded to lay ambush to fleeing terrorists since SF have been inserted in the scene.

      the only way to scare terrorists is to terrorize and bully them. that is the tactics that has helped Algeria succeed with AQIM.

      may God protect our warriors.

    • Are James says:

      “MI 35 fighter jets”, “Isuzu APC double cabins mounted with machine guns”, “….armed with highly sophisticated weapons including AK47s, Mark IV rifles and assorted charms”, “Nigeria’s highly sophisticated supersonic fighter jets including Alpha jets, F7NI and L 39ZA.
      The booboos are endless, it’s a disgrace to the journalism profession.

      • beegeagle says:

        Lol. The gaffes are legion, my brother. It is a sad testimony for real and shows that competence and flair do not count for much when journalists get hired for roles.

        That is why they are forever fighting “criminalities” and “illegalities”. Nobody proofreads content anymore.

      • doziex says:

        It betrays the fundamental disrespect we have for the dissemination of information.

        Our military hates propaganda/news, whereas, it’s embraced as a tool of war world over.

        Our journalist dont know that it’s an honorable thing to be the eyes and ears of the world, so they report this nonsense.

        When they said the pen is mightier than the sword, they should have sent Nigerians a memo.

  5. peccavi says:

    Hot pursuit by Mauritania was by prior agreement with Mali and to be honest in that part of the Sahel na only GPS (or the Tauregs) go tell you where Mali starts or Mauritania. Also once government had ceded control it was a fait accompli. Its slightly more difficult in a relatively more densely populated area like Northern Nigeria/ Cameroun.
    The legal mechanisms are not hard really, Nigeria simply needs to make its case and then go ahead. After all what is Cameroun really going to do to stop us?

  6. Solorex says:

    Every of our unilateral military adventure unto our neighbors land have all been approximately justifiable (save for some few ones), within areas of loosely defined boundary lines and does not really threaten sovereignty, government structure or foreign interest. But unilateral ground troop movement across clearly defined and mutually accepted boundary will elicit as different kind of response. It will put the Government of Cameroon in a tight corner and may lead to an upheaval in governance if not properly managed-this will obviously be at variance with foreign interest and push people to act. Nobody can say what the results will be.
    At the moments there are lots of cards on the table and even France and Cameroun are not blind to see that Nigeria will consider all option (Boko haram seems to be the single greatest means of measuring Governments ability to provide security lately which also has its political implication for this regime). Certainly, it will be easy to find mutually accepted means of solving the issue. Talks are already ongoing.
    Sometimes 4×4 are manually field armored with welded slats and up to 12mm steel plates to protect against machine gun fire and improve RPG survivability-these have resemblance of the popular armored Cash in Transit vehicles and are often erroneously referred to as a APC by undiscerning press.

    I still believe we need overwhelming air patrols, not support only. The few Alpha Jets and Mi’s are not sufficient. We need sustainable decimation ability. We need to be able to patrols large swath of the borders with armed gunships. We should also try considering precise mobile artillery with good range (30km plus), this is far cheaper and somewhat safer than air strikes. We should also get serious with the drone thing. Provide several MALE UAVs for recon and patrols on known routes where they can act as spotters and range finders for long range artillery. We need a veritable means of spotting and dispersing large groups of armed militants before they would be able to mount a large scale attack.

  7. jimmy says:

    Gentlemen , I am going to go out on a limb and say this from what I can glean from the headlines, One thing I think happened Thursday/ Friday/ Saturday/ And especially Sunday HUMIT/ DSS INTEL/ SF ARMY INTEL/ and LUCK played a key role in what happened SAT/ Sun Morning.
    The intense FIRE FIGHT that raged in a rural VILLAGE not surprisingly close to the border and not at a Military outpost LOGIC DICTATES was a collection point/ rendezvous point for bh.
    This too me became A KILL ZONE ( guys correct me if I am wrong) because their way back to Cameroon was blocked.
    I want to CONGRATULATE THE NA/ NAF and the SF for the pro active COIN. These b——s were massing for an attack at their most vulnerable point were attacked. I am hoping for a new years gift that the female commander who is the most wanted lady in Nigeria is among the dead.
    God bless Nigeria. AMEN.

  8. ifiok umoeka says:

    My oga, there is no one in this blog that argues against hot pursuit! Its the unilateral deep strike and interdiction possibly involving SF type via some aerial platform that we are against especially when we remember that we don’t even have the assets to insert them in significant no. Then we all no that murphy’s law particularly disfavor’s the unprepared. Then again, Cameroun is not Mali not 2 mention that Mali was desperate (so the enemy of my enemy is my friend).
    Hot pursuit, by all means.

  9. eniola says:

    D military has released a statement on d outcome of d battle. 63 insurgent killed nd operation is still ongoing. Kudos to d military dudes.

  10. gbash10 says:

    Congrat to our gallant warriors!Please take no prisoners for the Chadians,Malians,Nigerien or any other stupid merc,kill them all,show no mercy to them.
    About Cameroun,our military field officers already know what to do when the time comes.
    For our Finance Minister,Okonjo-Iweala,the DHQs should invite her for a three days familiarisation tour of the Hot Zones of the NE,in order for her to have a first-hand field experience in a war zone!

    • G8T Nigeria says:

      Kudos to our boys. But a very big question for the Nigerian customs, how come all these weapons sail thru the borders without any clue. I feel the Customs have remained relaxed in this battle. As much as we have porous areas am yet to hear of any major interception carried out by Customs. Anyway, insurgents shall be defeated at all cost.

      • Akin Oges says:

        My Oga, you highlighted one weakness in our security that has agitated my mind for a long time. The Customs is lousy and terribly compromised, and endangering the security of Nigerians.

  11. gbash10 says:

    FG,all we are clamouring for the armed forces of Nigeria is for you to acquire the necessary capabilities in the form of attack and transport helicopters,high-performance multirole fighter jets,AFVs and APCs, warships and even submarines in their numbers.
    We have the money,we are richer than Kenya but they have bought 16 units of Mi-28 Havoc attack helicopters,-Uganda, but they have acquired 6 unit of Su-30MK2 Flanker multirole fighter jets and have place order for another 6 units,-Morocco, but they have purchased a squadron or more of F-16C/D Falcon Block 52 multirole fighter jets,etc… Haba!when are we ever going to do the right thing ?

  12. freeegulf says:

    Well done, Marshal Beegs, nothing more to add to such an excellent and detailed writeup.

  13. freeegulf says:

    @oga gbash, brilliant idea about the frontline tour for madam finance minister.
    as for the mercs and jihadists, no quarter given. they don’t deserve POW status

    • Are James says:

      Frontline tour for Konji , full camouflage uniform, free BTR APC transport, body armour, combat boots and Kevlar helmet…. this is very funny.

  14. doziex says:

    Gentlemen, 2 years ago I predicted that bh with technicals and Chadian mercs in tow, would wreak this kind of havoc on Nigeria. I said the NA as is,would falter under this threat. I also predicted that we will do nothing, and be caught unprepared.

    Well like it or not, an islamic insurgency has now taken root in Nigeria. And again mark my words, the rest of the nation would soon be feeling its fury.

    There are tens of thousands of armed and trained fighers from Chad with nothing to do, coupled with the vast uneducated and unemployable youth in northern Nigeria, one needs not be Nostradamus , to do the math.

    NA should have been equipped to snuff out this group in its infancy. Also Nigeria should by now have such crossborder presence in neighboring countries, that NA can drain the swamps there before they got infested with BH.

    But no despite the best efforts of our troops, our politicians led by Madam Okonjo and our CIC wouldn’t meet them half way with military expenditure. It doesn’t matter how many insurgents NA kill, as they say in basketball, they got a deep bench.
    With technicals, mortars, anti aircraft guns at their desposal, they would soon solve the nuisance that is the NAF.

    Yeah I said it, the manpads are on the way. Without NAF’s air cover, bases, towns and cities could be taken and held at will by BH.

    It’s already late in the game, and there is only a military solution to BH. Only an Algerian type defense spending spree will suffice.

  15. beegeagle says:


    Posted on Decemeber 30, 2013

    The Nigerian security forces have recorded a significant feet in combating crime and insurgents in the country.

    Nigerian Minister of Information and
    Supervising Minister of Defence, Mr Labaran Maku explained that the establishment of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army had reduced the tide of
    attacks by insurgents in the North-east of the country.

    “The war against terror is a continued
    war and in 2013 the war went further in
    terms of success… Before the declaration of state of emergency in the Northeast, there were so many attacks, and today by the effort of security forces, we have been able to contain this, largely to the two states of Yobe and Borno.” Maku said.

    “We need a presence of a whole Army, because the North-east is bigger than some countries in Africa, we needed to expand the presence of the Armed
    forces, that is why we are taking up the 7th Division.” “We want to have a permanent presence of Army in the area so as to be able to contain the crisis we see from the border with Cameroun, Chad and Niger,” he stated.

    Economic implication

    The Minister said without security, the
    economy could not stand saying the
    national resources were been shared
    equally among the regions for provision
    of adequate security across the country.

    “The most important activity of government today is that we are
    spending so much money in North-east
    every month on security to the region.
    That is a huge investment… Federal
    interventions are mainly to ameliorate situations and encourage local effort
    and we must get government right at
    the state level too for development to

  16. gbash10 says:

    @Oga Doziex,it is happening already,those Chadians and other jihadists are fighting side by side with the Fulanis on the Plateau and in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states respectively. The Fulanis want to accomplish what Usman dan Fodio could not achieve, but I tell you guys, BH and the Fulanis cannot win at all, neither will they cross the Middle Belt.

    Death to them all!

  17. ifiok umoeka says:

    Imagine what 8 havocs and 12 latest version hinds domiciled in a secured base in the NE as well as that C5ISR we’ve been talking about would do in 2 weeks!

  18. Are James says:

    The Americans will try to push this plane for our COIN campaigns but Nigeria should say NO.

  19. ifiok umoeka says:

    I have nothing against that bird (been following for a will) but the questn is what will it cost us monetarily and politically! I wish we could build that bird ourselves. Imagine throwing $300mn 2 the guy behind the bird and convincing them 2 set up shop in Nigeria! The scorpion in it final form will be a drone or at least an optionally piloted bird. Not bad at all for COIN missions

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