BOKO HARAM SACKS BARRACKS IN BURATAI, KILLS 5 SOLDIERS, STEALS WEAPONS

             …kills 5 soldiers in early morning attack

Terrorists cart away arms, and ammunition

Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect have invaded a military base/camp of ‘Operation Lafiya Dole’ in Kamuya village of Buratai ward of Biu Local Government Area of Borno State, where they allegedly sacked the soldiers at their duty post, before carting away arms and ammunition.

Unconfirmed reports from some sources in the village revealed that five soldiers were feared dead while seven others were injured. Also, three civilians were missing after the attack.

Kamuya is located about six kilometres to Buratai, the ancestral home of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai. The attack came as the Police in Zamfara State confirmed the death of one person in Magazu Village of Tsafe Local Government Area of the state following a fresh attack by bandits.

The incident, according to sources, took place on Wednesday, but due to lack of telecommunication network in the area, as it was hitherto vandalised by the sect, the information had to be delayed before reaching the press.

“There was a bloody attack on a military camp in Kamuya by suspected terrorists on Thursday. The attackers first succeeded in sacking the soldiers at their duty post, after which, they invaded the camp and carted away huge arms and ammunition.

“It was also gathered that some soldiers were feared dead with the setting ablaze of the entire camp,” the sources said.

A vigilante member from the area, Mallum Biukar, said the terrorists came about 2:30am on Thurday when some vigilante members from the town were moved to Buni Yadi for an early morning operation to Boko Haram hideouts in the area, He said: “I think the terrorists have a prior knowledge on the movement and proposed operation by the troops and vigilante, hence the planned attack on the formation resulting into dead of five soldiers, while three civilians were missing.”

Another source, who claimed that, “five soldiers were killed while three civilians were still missing”, also added that the soldiers were sleeping when Boko Haram stormed the barracks, catching them unawares. He noted that the soldiers tried to fight back the next day by chasing after the terrorists.

Effort, however, to get confirmation from the Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), DSP Victor Isuku, proved abortive as his cell phone lines were not reachable at press time.

It was also gathered that the army had earlier announced that it was going to hold a press conference on the issue even though as at the time of filing this report it was yet brief journalists on the issue. But later, the Acting Director of Defence Information (DDI), Brig-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, in its response, said: “There was an attempt by the remnants of Boko Haram terrorists to attack own base at Kamuya station in between Yobe State and was repelled and were also pursued to ensure their total annihilation.Boko Haram terrorists wlll be denied to hold an inch of our territory; Boko Haram is gone for good.

“However, we are requesting our citizens, especially in the North East, to be on the watch and report any suspicious persons , especially now that they lost everything and are at loose hiding and attking isolated targets.”

In another development, Zamfara State Commissioner of Police, Shaba Alkali, who confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Gusau yesterday, said gunmen on motorcycles had invaded the village on Thursday night shooting sporadically in the air and shooting one hunter, Idi Isa.

He said the victim was rushed to Tsafe General Hospital, where he died in the early hours of yesterday. According to him, the village people were provoked by the development, which they blamed on the herdsmen of the area and, therefore, started attacking all herdsmen on sight.

The commissioner said he had deployed a combined team of armed mobile and regular policemen led by his deputy to contain the situation and that normalcy had been restored in the area.

Also speaking, the Commanding Officer of 223 Light Tank Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Gusau, Adamu Abdullahi, said the military who were on patrol around the area had also moved in to restore order. One of the inhabitants of the village, Musa Rabo, said the herdsmen invaded the village in search of one person popularly known as Zuma whom they accused of killing their cow sometime ago.

He said the area had become very tense and this had scared away travellers on the Kaduna/Gusau Road. Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) yesterday said around 1.8 million people were at risk of starvation in the North-East, following the Islamist insurgency that is undermining efforts by WFP to ferry in aid.

WFP executive director, Ertharin Cousin, said an estimated 4.4 million people were in need of food assistance in the northeast, though the full scale of the crisis was still unknown as some areas remained unreachable.

“The challenge is that there are areas in (Boko Haram heartland) Borno state in particular that are still inaccessible, and we have no idea of the food security situation (there),” she told Reuters.

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