Nigeria: Military Drive Away Boko Haram Attack In Northern State
Nigeria’s Defense Headquarters said on Saturday that a combination of air and ground operation repelled an attack on a northeastern town by Boko Haram Islamic extremists who warned locals not to participate in the country’s March elections.
“The terrorists attack on Gombe has been repelled. Troops are in pursuit,” it said via its Twitter account.
The Boko Haram fighters first attacked Dadin Kowa, about 40 km from Gombe city, state capital of the Gombe State, shooting heavily and unleashing terror on the local people, said Abu Hassan, a witness.
But government forces and a fighter jet engaged the attackers after they attacked soldiers at a security checkpoint at the edge of the town and forced their way into the quarter guard of the 301 Artillery Regiment, eyewitnesses said.
The insurgents failed to proceed into the main barracks which was a little far off.
The attack has paralyzed the city, another witness named Musa Bala said, adding residents remained indoors, commercial stores were shut and other business activities within the city were brought to a halt as the Nigerian troops continued to push back the insurgents.
Before they retreated, the insurgents scattered leaflets warning residents not to vote in the election, witnesses said.
Security sources said the terrorists were desperately seeking to set up new camps as they were being driven out of their existing camps in northeastern Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
In the past few weeks, Boko Haram camps in the northern parts of the states close to the borders with neighboring countries have been under intense pressures from Nigerian troops in cooperation with troops from the Multinational Joint Task Force.
Some of the camps have been destroyed. And as they could no longer enter Cameroon and Niger so easily, they were moving southwards, the sources said.