The Nigerian military has said it successfully repelled Boko Haram insurgents that attacked the Yobe State capital, Damaturu, on Friday night.
The Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, a major general, in a statement on Saturday said troops foiled the attempt of the insurgents, who “launched massive attack from different directions” to occupy part of the town.
He said the attack lasted the entire night with troops inflicting heavy casualty on the insurgents and five soldiers who were seriously wounded in the battle are currently receiving treatment in a military hospital.
“The terrorists had launched massive attack from different directions of the town on Friday evening, but troops were promptly mobilized to repel the attack that lasted the night resulting in heavy casualty on the terrorists before the rest of them retreated,” said Mr. Olukolade.
“Weapons including IEDs and Rocket Propelled Grenades captured from the terrorists are being compiled while their dead as well as civilian casualties are yet to be determined,” he added.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the attack with residents saying calm returned to the troubled capital on Saturday morning.
“The insurgents have been repelled, and Damaturu is now calm,” Yobe state police commissioner, Marcus Danladi, had told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday.
Friday’s attack was the second attempt by the insurgents to capture the town. On December 1, the insurgents attacked the town with the aim of taking over the government house before soldiers repelled them.
Mr. Olukolade also said that the military is studying the situation in Baga where terrorist dislodged a military base last week. He said the military would determine the appropriate action to take to restore peace in the town.
He said 14 soldiers died in the attack and 30 others who were wounded are currently receiving treatment. He said most of the soldiers who were declared missing after the attack have re-joined their colleagues.
He said the military is yet to ascertain the number of civilian casualty in the Baga attack with survivors telling PREMIUM TIMES hundreds of people were killed as civilians and soldiers fled.
“The Nigerian military has not given up on Baga and other localities where terrorists activities are now prevalent. Appropriate plans, men and resources are presently being mobilized to address the situation. The Nigerian component of the Multinational Joint Task Force which retreated from its Baga Headquarters last weekend and more of the troops are regrouping for necessary debrief and briefing for subsequent missions,” Mr. Olukolade said.
He said that the military is capable of flushing out terrorists from all parts of Nigeria they currently occupy and that “no portion of Nigeria’s territory has been or will be conceded to terrorists.”