Nigerian troops, a Toyota gun truck and REVA MRAPs in an operational area
Military troops on counterinsurgency operation in the Northeast yesterday repelled a daring attack on its base in Borno’s Gwoza town by Boko Haram.
Sources said the insurgents launched attack on an army base in the town around 2.30am on Friday and made bold moves to take over the base but troops on alert engaged the insurgents in a shoot-out, killing no fewer than seven.
Media Coordinator, Operation Lafiya Dole (Counter-Insurgency Operation), Colonel Tukur Gusau, confirmed the incident at a news briefing yesterday, saying, the Islamic sect made a desperate, but costly attempt at an “army’s blocking position.”
“Boko Haram terrorists despite their obvious losses made a desperate but costly attempt to attack Nigerian Army’s blocking position early this morning in Gwoza. The encounter which started at about 5.00am today (Friday) lasted for almost two hours,” he stated.
He said troops were still pursuing some of the insurgents who fled into Sambisa, a major Boko Haram hideout, “with a view to eliminate all of them” as men of the Nigerian Air Force bombard their locations
He said some weapons and fighting vehicles were recovered from the insurgents. These include, Toyota Hilux vehicle, 11 AK-47 rifles, Shilka gun, rocket propelled grenade tube and six hand grenades. Others include, several rounds of Shilka gun and machine gun ammunition.
He maintained that Boko Haram’s ability to carry out violent attacks as “a coherent fighting force” has been “degraded over time” by troops through sustained onslaught, patrols and aerial bombardments. He described the attack as a failed attempt to project an image of strength, saying it was part of the last struggles of a dying evil.
Gwoza is located some 135 kms southeast of Maiduguri.