Maiduguri — Hundreds of civilians fled their homes on Wednesday as troops battled Boko Haram insurgents who launched attack on Jiddari-Polo area, a suburb near Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.
It was learnt that the attackers came around 7:05pm after the Muslim prayer time to Jiddari Polo general area of Maiduguri Metropolis, shooting sporadically as residents scampered for safety.
The troops, local hunters and civilian JTF were sighted heading towards the Federal High Court area of Jiddari Polo at exactly 7:20pm, witnesses said.
Our correspondent who visited the popular Circular junction sighted hundreds of women, children and youths walking into the town as dozens sit on the roadside.
Daily Trust had earlier today reported that President Muhammadu Buhari was booed by residents of Maiduguri, in Borno state during his sympathy visit to the area.
Our correspondents reported that residents of the metropolis, who came out early, lined up on both sides of the road along the Airport Road and expressed their disapproval by booing Buhari's convoy, shouting in Hausa, 'Ba ma so' roughly means: 'we don't like it.' They were apparently referring to his visit.
Buhari landed in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to pay a sympathy visit to the government and people of the State, following the recent horrific incident in which Boko Haram terrorists killed several travellers.
President Buhari, in a statement issued by his media aide, Garba Shehu, commiserated with family of victims of attacks in Maiduguri, assured them that his administration will continually frustrate the devilish operations of Boko Haram, and bring it to an end.
The President said his administration is ever determined to frustrate their goal to hold Nigeria to ransom.
"The commitment of this administration to protect the lives of Nigerians will not be derailed by the cowardly and indiscriminate violence against innocent people by Boko Haram terrorists," he said, while reacting to recent attacks in Maiduguri.
The President Buhari, who also condoled with the government of the state, warned "that terrorists are clearly on a back foot and their days are numbered".
"As our armed forces continue to receive more hardware and intelligence to counter our current security challenges, the remnants of Boko Haram will ultimately be crushed.
"The peculiar challenges of asymmetric warfare notwithstanding, our armed forces are ever determined to defeat these enemies of humanity," President Buhari said.
Boko Haram insurgents had on Sunday night killed 30 passengers from dozens of travellers that were forced to pass the night in Auno, a community 25 kilometres away from Maiduguri.
Some of the victims, including a mother and an infant, were reportedly burnt beyond recognition by a fire from a petrol tanker set ablaze by the terrorists.
Witnesses said the terrorists, suspected to be loyal to Abubakar Shekau, also abducted 22 people and burnt 18 vehicles and properties worth millions of Naira.
Besides attacking the travellers, the insurgents also burnt shops and residential houses, witnesses said.
The onslaught on Auno reportedly took place at around 9:50 pm when hundreds of travellers who were stopped by soldiers manning the road around 4:45 pm on Sunday were asleep.