22 May 2019

Nigeria: Boko Haram Attacks Army Base, Leaves Soldiers Killed, Wounded, Missing

Photo: VOA News
Borno State.

Insurgents in Nigeria's north-east have attacked yet another military base in Borno State, killing, wounding and displacing soldiers.

The Boko Haram thugs drove yet unconfirmed number of trucks into Gubio Local Government Area at about 5:30 p.m. on May 19, PREMIUM TIMES learnt from military sources. They attacked a camp housing the Nigerian Army 5 Brigade and the 159 Task Force Battalion, leaving at least one soldier killed and three others injured.

Six soldiers were still missing as of Tuesday night, two days after the attack, sources said.

But soldiers were able to repel most of the Boko Haram attackers before they could inflict maximum damage, killing at lease one of them with some guns recovered.

The Nigerian Army has not issued a statement on the attack. A spokesperson, Sagir Musa, did not immediately return calls seeking comments Wednesday morning. The military contacts spoke under anonymity because the military top brass had not authorised disclosure of the attack to the media.

The attack occurred barely three days after the military acceded to the request of Gubio residents for an additional time for farmers to return home daily.

The farmers had complained that the curfew hitherto in place was obstructing their farming activities because it required them to stop working on their farm before 4:00 p.m. Several residents were reported to have been arrested because they sometimes stayed beyond the 4:00 p.m. in their farms.

Following complaints from the community association, the 5 Brigade commander approved an extension of the curfew until 5:30 p.m., Daily Trust reported.

It was not immediately clear whether or not the relaxed measures created a loophole which the insurgents exploited to strike on Sunday.

Despite wholesale strides recorded by the military, including the capturing of Sambisa Forest and other previously seized settlements, Borno has remained a major challenge for the Nigerian military, 10 years after the insurgency began there.

Even though Boko Haram has been largely defeated in some parts of the country where it once ran riot, its capacity in Borno has been largely elusive for the military to curb. Its fighters now regularly attack military bases, with a recent attack leaving a commander killed last week.

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