Boko Haram insurgents have encountered stiff resistance from Nigerian troops and volunteers when they attempted to overrun Uba town, just about 35 kilometers from the commercial town of Mubi that was recently recaptured from the insurgents.
Witnesses said a fierce gun battle ensued, lasting hours. The insurgents reportedly launched the attack around 7:30am Saturday morning.
Speaking via telephone, a resident of Uba, who identified himself as Bello, said the insurgents had made an attempt to take over the town but soldiers stationed in the area were able to repel the attackers after a sustained battle.
“The attackers came in the wee hours of today Saturday and started shooting sporadically at the Nigerian troops in an attempt to capture the town,” he said.
“However, the soldiers and local hunters engaged them in a gun duel. But the soldiers later succeeded in repelling the attack.”
Some witness reported seeing dead bodies and burnt cars.
Though the Nigerian Military is yet to say the exact casualties from both sides, local sources say many of the attackers were killed.
The Uba attack has caused pandemonium in the neighbouring towns, particularly Mubi, as residents ran into the bushes for fear the insurgents may have once again annexed the town.
The anxiety was sparked by the fact that the last time the insurgents attacked Uba, they proceeded to annex Mubi in a couple of hours.
A resident of Mubi, Aliyu Musa, said that the news of a gun duel between Nigerian troops and Boko Haram insurgents has sparked tension as many ran into the surrounding bushes and hilltops for safety.
“There was serious pandemonium in Mubi as news filtered that Boko Haram insurgents have attempted to take over Uba town which is just a stone throw away from Mubi.
“But the security forces were able to repel the insurgents and as I am speaking to you, normalcy has started returning to Mubi following assurances by security personnel that they are on top of the situation,” Mr. Musa said.
Another resident, Ya’uba Garba, also told reporters that even after Mubi and surrounding towns were liberated, there is still fear that Boko Haram members remained hidden in surrounding bushes.
He urged security personnel to intensify surveillance in the bushes to flush out the insurgents completely.