Suspected members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram took over a town in the restive state of Borno in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, November 25, 2017 residents said.
The attack comes days after a suicide bomber killed at least 50 people at a mosque in neighbouring Adamawa state in one of the deadliest attacks since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015 pledging to end the eight-year insurgency.
Residents said attackers entered Magumeri, around 50 km (30 miles) from Borno state capital Maiduguri, around 7:00 p.m. (1800 GMT). They said the insurgents shot sporadically and threw explosive devices, prompting locals to flee to a forest.
“We hurriedly took our families to the bushes before they could get us. Almost every resident is hiding here,” said Wakil Bulama, one of two residents who spoke to Reuters by telephone.
A military source who did not want to be identified said Magumeri had been attacked but could not confirm whether it had been seized.
Boko Haram has waged an insurgency in northeastern Nigeria since 2009 in its attempt to create an Islamic state in the region. The group has killed more than 20,000 and forced around 2 million people to flee their homes.
3 Soldiers Dead In Battle For Borno Town – Nigerian Army Says
“At about 6.00pm yesterday, 25th November 2017, suspected elements of Boko Haram terrorists attempted to attack Magumeri. As a prelude to the intended attack on the town, the terrorists attempted to dislodge the Forward Operational Base in Magumeri, Borno State,” an e-mailed statement by Colonel Timothy Antigha, the deputy director public relations of 8 Task Force Division of the Nigerian Army says on Sunday.
“However, soldiers of 5 Brigade Garrison located in the town repelled the attack. The troops fought gallantly.
“Unfortunately, 3 soldiers lost their lives, while 6 others sustained injuries. The bodies of the late soldiers and the wounded have been evacuated.
“The wounded are receiving medical attention. Some platforms were also attacked and damaged by the terrorists. Further developments regarding the incident will be communicated accordingly.
“The 8 Division wishes to assure all residents of Magumeri that everything is being done to ensure their safety and security. To this end, they are to continue pursuing their legitimate activities without any fear,” the brief statement ended.
Buhari Defeats Boko Haram?
Late December 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari declared victory over the Islamist terrorist group after Nigerian troops announced that they have recaptured Camp Zero in Sambisa forest, the base of the deadliest terrorist group in the world.
The Nigerian Army later presented the president with the flag belonging to the terrorist group in a “mission accomplished” ceremony.
Since the declaration a week ahead of Christmas Day 2016, Boko Haram has launched a number of deadly attacks in the North Eastern region of the country where the terrorists have murdered at least 50,000 since they began their campaign to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country.
Additional reports by Reuters