Nigeria troops repel fresh Boko Haram base attack

2018-09-13 19:35
Boko Haram militants. (File: AFP)

Boko Haram militants. (File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Soldiers have thwarted another Boko Haram attack on an army base in northeast Nigeria, the latest in a series of offensives against military targets in the remote region.

Scores of fighters attacked the base in Damasak, in the far north of Borno state, on Wednesday evening, firing heavy artillery in an apparent bid to overrun it.

Hours of fighting ensued but the attack was repelled with the help of aerial support, military sources in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, told AFP on Thursday morning.

Nigerian Army spokesperson Brigadier General Texas Chukwu confirmed troops from 145 battalion were fighting the jihadists, calling the battle "fierce".

"The troops are dealing with the terrorists," he said on Wednesday evening.

Chukwu's statement was a departure from the military's repeated denials of Boko Haram attacks in recent weeks, which have seen dozens of troops killed and weapons stolen.

Last month, 48 soldiers were killed in a raid in the village of Zari, near Damasak, while last Friday, a base was sacked in the town of Gudumbali.

Gudumbali is 80km from Damasak. Thousands of civilians were forced to flee and Boko Haram temporarily seized the town before withdrawing the next day.

On Saturday, a regional fighting force set up to stop cross-border attacks helped to repel another attack on a base near Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad.

A senior military officer, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the jihadists in Wednesday's attack were heavily armed.

"The terrorists attacked the base around 1700 GMT but they met stiff resistance from troops who engaged them in hours-long battle," he added.

After about four hours of fighting the militants were "beaten" and forced to withdraw after a fighter jet bombarded their positions, he said.

There was no immediate indication of casualties on either side.

The latest attacks have been blamed on the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Boko Haram splinter group headed by Mus'ab al-Barnawi and backed by ISIS.

Security analysts assess that the Barnawi faction currently poses a greater threat than that led by Abubakar Shekau, who has indiscriminately targeted civilians.

President Muhammadu Buhari was elected in 2015 on a promise to defeat Boko Haram, whose insurgency has killed more than 27 000 people in northeast Nigeria since 2009.

The former army general has repeatedly claimed the jihadists are weakened to the point of defeat, despite the continued attacks.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    isis  |  boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.