Olaleye Aluko and Kayode Idowu
The Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday engaged troops of the Nigerian Army in a gun battle, after attempting to capture Jiddari Polo community in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Our correspondents learnt that an undisclosed number of the terrorists were shot dead, while some escaped with gunshot injuries.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, who confirmed the attack, said the troops repelled the invasion and killed most of the terrorists.
Residents of Jiddari Polo fled their houses to neighbouring communities, as the terrorists, whose number was reportedly overwhelming, attacked the area.
Many residents of the town were forced to stay indoors as bullets flew on the streets of Jiddari Polo, an area on the outskirts of the troubled town.
A resident of Jiddari Polo, Janet Ibrahim, who spoke to one of our correspondents at about 8 pm said, “There were bullets flying everywhere, and all of us were in a panic.”
She said, “I cannot tell you the number of casualties now. But I can say the insurgents tried to gain entrance into Maiduguri and they were engaged by the military for about two hours.”
Ibrahim added, “They (insurgents) fled back when the military aircraft came hovering over the area. The situation was bad as you can still see bullets all over the streets.”
The attack made some residents of Jiddari Polo flee into other parts of Maiduguri as they fear they might be caught up in the crossfire.
One resident that fled the area, Abraham Haruna, told one of our correspondents on the telephone that “I just had to run from my house when the gunshots seem to be coming closer.”
He added, “I am not returning home tonight, I will have to sleep in our church within Maiduguri.”
Confirming the attack, the Deputy Director Army Public Relations 7 Division, headquarters in Maiduguri, Lt. Col. Kingsley Samuel, in a press statement, asked that the residents of the town should not panic.
He said, “The situation in Maiduguri is under control. The general public is requested not to panic and stay calm.” (Punchng.com)