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Boko Haram attacks military base, kills 17 soldiers



Boko Haram attacks military base, kills 17 soldiers
  • Gunmen slay 9, set houses ablaze in Benue

Pandemonium erupted yesterday when the outlawed terror group, Boko Haram, attacked a military base in Borno State, killing at least 17 soldiers, in what military sources said Thursday was fresh attack, which was the third assault on three different bases in less than a month. In the same vein, at least nine persons were yesterday killed, with scores of others wounded and several houses set ablaze, when some gunmen attacked Tse-Ujoh, in Ikyurav Tiev area Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State. Yesterday’s attack, occurred on Wednesday evening, when heavily armed terrorists riding in trucks stormed and looted weapons and vehicles from a military base in Garunda village in Borno State, the epicentre of the Islamist insurgency that has been raging for nine years. Confirming the attack, a military officer, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak on the incident, said: “Our troops came under attack from Boko Haram terrorists in Garunda last night. “Unfortunately we lost 17 troops, 14 others were injured while an unspecified number is still unaccounted for.” The source added that the militants looted weapons and vehicles before fleeing. The insurgents, whose activities have also been felt in Chad, Niger and Cameroon, have been packing punches regularly, hitting civilian targets and other soft spots in Nigeria’s North-East. In the past month, Boko Haram jihadists have launched two other major assaults on military bases in the remote northeast region. Although the Nigerian army did not respond to requests for comment on the issue, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), however, on Thursday confirmed in a statement that a staff member, John Iliya, an excavator operator attached to the military, “was killed by Boko Haram yesterday in Damasak, Borno State.”

Meanwhile, local inhabitants, while recalling how the nine persons were killed, told journalists that the gunmen, who were believed to be gang members of a wanted notorious criminal Terwase Akwaza, alias ‘Gana’, were said to have invaded the area at about 8am in the morning while the victims were busy in their farms. Saturday Telegraph gathered that the said notorious criminal had squabbles with a man who is popularly known as ‘Coach’ whom the locals alleged was his rival. A source from the area who spoke to Saturday Telegraph but pleaded to remain anonymous hinted that two persons were abducted by the attackers while three others were still missing. When contacted, the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Moses Yamu, confirmed the attack, saying nine persons were killed. He said eight corpses were discovered on the spot while one other, died on the way to the hospital.

He said policemen had already been dispatched to the area. Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has urged communities in Sankera area of the state to assist security operatives with useful information to end the attacks on innocent people by armed militia. The governor who described as unacceptable the gruesome attack, said troops had been deployed in the affected area to bring the situation under control and assured the people of Katsina- Ala that steps had been taken to prevent further attacks in the area

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