By Kingsley Omonobi & Umar Yusuf
Yola—Nigerian Military in conjunction with the civilian JTF, local hunters and vigilante groups yesterday recorded resounding victory over the Boko Haram insurgents as they recaptured Gombi, Hong, and Pella towns in Adamawa State which had been under the control of the insurgents.
Security sources disclosed that for four days, the military has been making concerted efforts to recapture the three towns under the control of the Islamic sect.
The source confirmed that the troops were victorious yesterday afternoon when they overwhelmed the insurgents in a fierce battle.
He said the gun battle between the Nigerian troops and the insurgents lasted four days which resulted in the death of more than 400 insurgents as several of them were arrested. He added that there were also casualties from the troops while several of them were injured including a top ranking officer.
According to him, “The Nigerian troops are now in full control of Gombi, Hong and Pella towns and more than 400 insurgents were killed in a battle that lasted for four days just as several of them have been arrested.
“A lot of weapons and equipment were also recovered from the insurgents, however a top ranking officer was seriously injured as few soldiers lost their lives in the battle”, he said
A fleeing resident from Gombi, confirmed the victory to newsmen on phone saying that the troops were in control of the three towns now. The resident who claimed to be hiding on a mountain on the major road to Gombi when he saw many local hunters moving towards Gombi in their thousands from Yola, the state capital said he was confident the hunters would be victorious judging from their determination while going to the troubled areas.
“Our troops and local hunters are committed to end the activities of the insurgents in the north east and happily very soon we will return home” he said
Another source Mallam Abdul also confirmed that a fierce battle between Tuesday and Wednesday ensued along Gombi-Hong axis of Adamawa State as the military made frantic efforts to recapture the areas from Boko Haram insurgents.
He said with the commitment of the military to end the activities of the insurgents in the last four days he was not surprised to hear that the military has recaptured Hong, Gombi and Pella.
Abdul who hails from Hong said sources from the troubled areas did not however confirm the number of casualties from both sides but it was gathered that the encounter was fierce with the insurgents recording higher number of casualties.
Confirming the recapture of the three towns from Boko Haram terrorists yesterday, the Defence headquarters in its twitter handle said “Nigerian troops in their daring exploit have taken full control of more communities in Adamawa State including Gombi, Pelia and Hong.
“Our Troops are in full control of Gombi, Pelia and Hong as operations to clear all areas infested by terrorists is ongoing. Many terrorists are being captured as some die. Weapons and equipment are also being recovered. Mopping up is ongoing in the area even now,” it said.
Vanguard also gathered that the army authorities have arrested some junior officers who were leading troops on the field during the battle to recapture Mubi, for behaviour unbecoming of officers asked to lead soldiers.
They were said to have showed signs of weakness by their conduct which had negative influence on some soldiers prosecuting the battle and affected their advance.
Meanwhile, the Adamawa State Government has imposed restriction on movements in the area to protect residents from being caught in the crossfire between the insurgents and the Nigerian troops.
Director of Press in Adamawa Government House, Mr. P. P. Elisha, said Governor Bala Ngilari took the decision for the safety of the residents and motorists.