Soldiers on Monday night repelled a daring offensive by gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect bent on taking over Gombi Town, some 120 kilometres away from Yola, Adamawa state capital.
This was disclosed by residents and security sources.
Gombi was recently recaptured from the terrorists and has witnessed incessant attacks by Boko Haram.
The casualty from Monday’s attack was yet to be ascertained although sources say that several insurgents were killed during the battle that lasted for hours.
“The men came in from Goloso, Garkida villages through Biu road about 6:30 p.m. in a motorcade and vehicles,” a resident, Bello Abubakar, said.
“They engaged soldiers in a gun battle.”
Mr. Abubakar said many residents ran and hid themselves as the shooting continued for over two hours.
“There was apprehension and pandemonium in the town,” he said. “People scampered for their lives for fear of uncertainty.”
Another fleeing resident, Bitrus Danladi, said many residents ran into bush.
“As I am talking to you we are here on the mountain taking refuge,” he said. “(Boko Haram) attempted to capture the town. So we are afraid. I fled with my wife and two little children.”
Reports, however, indicates that soldiers confronted the gunmen in a shoot out and repelled the attack.
“They were repelled and many were killed and many fled with gunshots wounds,” said a local vigilante who pleads anonymity as he was not permitted to talk to the press. “Their eight vehicles were burnt down, including a Hilux fully loaded with ammunition and guns. As I am talking to you, we are in the bush trying to capture the fleeing insurgents. We are yet to confirm whether there is civilian casualty.”
Though the military was yet to release a statement on the attack as at the time of this report, however, media aide to the state governor, Phineas P.Elisha, confirmed the attack but said normalcy has been restored as security operatives were on top of the situation.
“Soldiers being assisted by the local volunteers of vigilante and hunters are on top of the situation. The attack was repelled, so people should about their normal businesses,’’ he urged.