About 50 Boko Haram terrorists were killed between Friday night and Saturday when the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, in a combined effort with the ground troops of the Nigerian Army, successfully repelled an attack on Bita village by the terrorists.
This came as suspected members of the sect, Saturday evening, invaded Malari village of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, killing scores of residents after setting ablaze houses.
A statement from NAF Headquarters, signed by Air Commodore Dele Alonge, said: “The Air Force, using its Alpha Jet, provided combat air support to the ground force to attack the insurgents where they were observed to be mobilizing (mopping up), to carry out a deadly attack on the village.
“Consequently, a large number of the insurgents were killed and several others injured.”
Military sources, however, confided in Vanguard that scores of the terrorists estimated at about 50 members were killed in the air and land offensive, while several others ran into the bush for safety.
According to the sources, the NAF Alpha-Jets conducted an armed reconnaissance along Bita-Gwoza road and through Yamtege, Hamdaga, Dure and Pulka.
“The NAF will continue to give all necessary support to the ground force through its intensified and persistent efforts in the ongoing fight against Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East until all portions of Nigerian soil is safe and free from the insurgents,” Alonge said.
Sect kills scores, sets houses ablaze
Meanwhile, suspected members of the sect had on Saturday evening invaded Malari village of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, killing scores of residents after setting ablaze houses.
The insurgents, according to sources, also looted food items and loaded it into some vehicles they snatched from the village before they fled into Sambisa forest.
The incident, according to reliable security source, came at a time troops had been combing some strategic points of Sambisa to confront terrorists in their hideouts.
Fleeing residents of Malari village told Vanguard that the insurgents were not many in number as they came into the community with three motorcycles fully armed with AK-47 rifles and petrol bombs, but because of fear from armless residents, the attackers wreaked havoc as they shot at anyone on sight, including fleeing residents.
Sources in Maiduguri, particularly those who reside along Tashan Bama road and University of Maiduguri, said yesterday morning that they saw military patrol vehicles conveying the dead and the injured to undisclosed hospital in Maiduguri.
Another source from Mairi ward of Maiduguri metropolis, who gave his name as Aliyu Musa, told Vanguard on phone that he sighted many members of the civilian JTF and troops heading towards Konduga at about 10am on Sunday.
“I was at the main road leading to Konduga when I saw many vehicles conveying troops and civilian JTF, and when I became inquisitive, I learned that they were heading to Malari village to rescue the victims of Boko Haram attack which took place in the community on Saturday evening,” Musa said.
Contacted at press time, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Tukur Gusau, in a telephone/text message, told Vanguard: “I will get back to you.”
The Police Commissioner, Mr. Aderemi Opadokun, did not respond to a text message sent to his cell phone at press time.