Maiduguri — NO fewer than 45 Boko Haram terror suspects were killed, after troops of 7 Division of Nigerian Army in Borno State repelled the insurgents in a convoy of over two dozen Hilux vehicles and motorcycles to attack Bama town at about 4.30am.
Bama is a border town with Cameroun, and 78 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri, the state capital.
As the gunmen were being repelled and pushed to the outskirts along Maiduguri-Gwoza road, many residents, including women and children were "terrified and frightened" and fled to Maiduguri, to converge near the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) and Bama motor park for safety.
Even though there were no reports of civilian casualties, the Director of Defense Information, Maj-Gen. Chris Olukolade in a text message said: "Yes, The attack on Bama is being repelled. I cannot state casualty situation or figures now," assuring that everything necessary will be done to contain the terrorists.
The Guardian also learnt that, as the repulsion was ongoing since 4.30am Monday; many fleeing Bama residents were sighted on the road sides near the varsity and motor park.
Other fleeing residents, according to Mustapha Bunu, who led his family members of eight to Maiduguri, said: "We were lucky to have boarded this vehicle to Maiduguri this morning. There are residents still trooping to Maiduguri, Konduga and Kawuri village for safety. We could not continue with our sleep last night; as the "deafening" sounds of gunshots and bombings continued, till we fled this morning."
He said he has no other place to flee and resettle other than this motor park.
Six hours after repelling the suspected terrorists in Bama, the military also reviewed the 9pm-6am curfew in Maiduguri metropolis to 7pm-6am daily, until the security situation improves.
The review of curfew was contained in a press statement of Deputy Director Army Public Relations, Col Sani Usman; and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri on Monday.
The spokesman in the statement also said: "With effect from today (Monday), curfew hours imposed on Maiduguri metropolis and environs have been reviewed upwards. It is now to last from 7pm to 6am daily. All must comply with this directive."
Usman also warned: "Anyone found flouting this directive will be arrested and prosecuted," adding that the Acting General Officer Commanding (AGOC) of 7 Division of Nigerian Army has assured the people of security of their lives and property in the state