Nigerians soldiers in Borno state on Monday killed at least 73 members of the Boko Haram sect when the terrorists made yet another futile attempt to capture Konduga, a town 35km away from Maiduguri, the state capital.
The troops, who engaged the terrorists for over five hours, however lost a soldier in the battle.
According to one of the soldiers stationed in Konduga, the terrorists tried to attack the military base using herds of cows and a car filled with improvised explosive devices.
“They intended to take us by surprise but even before they came we had pre-information about them and we laid ambush after securing our territory,” the soldier told journalists in Maiduguri by telephone.
“Initially they flocked a herd of cows into Konduga in order to create some kind of detour and confuse us to enable the suicide bomber attack from another side; but we were able to gun the vehicle from afar before it got near and the car exploded. After that, the terrorists came in large numbers and we engaged in several hours of shooting with them.”
“We counted about 73 of them that were killed and many others who got injured escaped. But we lost a soldier during the shootout,” the soldier said.
Residents of Maiduguri were alarmed by the sight of two military jets hovering over Maiduguri and moving to and fro the direction of Konduga for hours.
“We continued to engage them from 7 a.m. to about 1p.m. when an air force jet came to give us backup,” the soldier added.
Boko Haram has attacked Konduga about 15 times in the last 10 months.
The sect appears desperate to capture the town but it has failed in every attempt it made.
The Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, could not be reached to comment for this story.