No fewer than 80 Boko Haram insurgents and two soldiers lost their lives when suspected members of dreaded Boko Haram sect laid ambush along the troubled Maiduguri-Damboa road which was closed down for motorists since July this year.
The clash, according to reliable sources, occurred weekend when some military personnel attached to 7 Division, Nigerian Army were on their way to Damboa, the headquarters of Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
This came barely 48 hours after the troops succeeded in killing 75 insurgents in a failed attempt to attack engineers and electricians who were repairing transmission lines vandalised by terrorists, in the remote village of Komala along the 185 kilometre Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road since July this year and the latest killing of over 110 terrorists who attacked Damboa at the weekend.
The whole of Maiduguri and its environs had remained in total blackout following the vandalised power lines and this was the third attempt by security forces and the staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, to restore power to the city of Maiduguri, to no avail.
The source said: “Military personnel were on their way to Damboa to give security cover to the staff of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) who were in Damboa to repair some destroyed electric cables along Maiduguri-Damboa road but they were ambushed by insurgents, leaving two soldiers and over 80 terrorists dead over the weekend.
A security source who does not want his name in print told our correspondent that “as the troops were moving towards Damboa, one Boko Haram terrorist suddenly appeared from the bush with a female by his side both armed with A-47 rifles and confronted the troops who immediately killed both of them. But unknown to the troops, many of the terrorists were hiding by the road side.
According to the source, “as the troops approached, the insurgents fired a Rocket Propelled Grenade, RPG, at one of the troops’ vehicles killing two soldiers.
“The troops immediately responded and engaged the terrorists in a gun battle, and when they realised that they were overwhelmed by the troops, the terrorists started running into the bush before they were pursued by the troops who killed almost all of them.”
The source further said that he personally counted 80 corpses of the insurgents, adding that the troops also destroyed three Hilux vehicles mounted with anti aircraft gun and another one belonging to Yobe State government believed to have been snatched in a recent attack on Damaturu loaded with Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, as well as many motorcycles.
Video shows Boko Haram killing captives
Meanwhile, a new video from Boko Haram extremists showed gunmen killing civilians lying face down in a school dormitory, and a leader saying they were being killed because they were “infidels” or non-believers.
In the video released to journalists late Saturday and sighted by Associated Press, AP, the group leader said in a message: “We have made sure the floor of this hall is turned red with blood, and this is how it is going to be in all future attacks and arrests of infidels.
“From now, killing, slaughtering, destructions and bombing will be our religious duty anywhere we invade.”
The video is coming two days after fleeing villagers reported that the extremists are rounding up elderly people and killing them in two schools in Gwoza, Borno State
The setting of the latest video appears to be a school, a long dormitory furnished with bunk beds which the leader says is in Bama, a town 60 kilometres north of Gwoza
In the video, the leader noted that the prophet Mohammed advised prisoners should be held, not killed, but said “we felt this is not the right time for us to keep prisoners; that is why we will continue to see that the grounds are crimsoned with the flowing blood of prisoners.”
He said some of those killed may call themselves Muslims, but are considered infidels by Boko Haram.
Amosu laments loss of colleagues
Meantime, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, has said that the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, had lost some of its brave officers and men in the fight against insurgency.
Speaking at the NAF’s end of year party and awards in Abuja, Amosu also disclosed that Air Force fighter aircraft had carried out about 6,000 sorties, the highest in its history as it seeks to eliminate the murderous activities of Boko Haram since 2009.
He said officers and airmen of the force working in conjunction with sister security services will not rest on their oars until the terrorists, are flushed out and peace and security returns to our nation.
According to him, “in fighting for the nation, the Air Force stands out and we intend to continue. Our heroes had demonstrated courage and commitment to the nation, they deserve to be recognised.”
He told the officers that whatever effort the Air Force was currently putting in place to end insurgency will be doubled in 2015.
He said even after the fight is ended, the Air Force personnel were expected to remain in the North-East to mop up.
In is address, Minister of Defence, General Aliyu Gusau called on the Nigerian Air Force to domicile their technology for effective performance.
Gusau, represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Alhaji Ismaila Aliyu said: “Concerning our quest to enhance operational capability in the 21st century, no military can afford to stand by and depend on borrowed technology because every time, a new platform was acquired, it also means a detection of borrowed and sometimes circumvent technology.
“Therefore, you must thrive to domicile your technological effort and equipment maintenance in pursuit of self reliance.
“Current events had brought to the fore, the lack of cooperation exhibited by some of our international partners in our efforts to ascertain the needs of our security and defence; hence we are complied to look inwards.”
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