Despite claims of a ceasefire between the Nigerian government and extremist sect, Boko Haram, soldiers on Sunday night shot dead 25 members of the sect during an attack on Damboa town of Borno state.
This was disclosed by security officials.
The attack on Damboa crystallised the doubts thousands of Nigerians expressed over the announced ceasefire deal the federal government said it signed on Friday with Boko Haram.
An official of a local vigilante group, Muhammad Gava, who first confirmed the attack to PREMIUM TIMES in a phone interview, said the terrorists stormed Damboa at about 5pm on Sunday.
“My members of the vigilante group in Damboa had informed me early this morning that the attack was repelled and more than two dozen of them were killed, said Mr. Gava.
He added that “the gunmen, according to our Vigilante members in Damboa, came from the direction of Sambisa forest and driving several pickup vans and some military-like armoured personnel carriers”.
An official of the State Security Services confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES but pleaded not to be quoted as his superiors at Maiduguri office had prohibited him and other officers from speaking to the media on matters like this.
“There was an attack on Damboa yesterday and our soldiers had effectively repelled them and killed 25 of them during a shootout.
“The soldiers were able to recover several ammunition including a Buffalo Armoured Personnel Carrier which the terrorists abandoned,” he said.
Boko Haram on July 17 hoisted their flags in Damboa after a deadly gun battle that killed several soldiers and a Lieutenant Colonel commanding the military base in Damboa.
Damboa is 85km away from Maiduguri, Borno state capital. It also shares borders with Sambissa forest where Boko Haram has its largest training camp.