By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
AT least 10 soldiers and 20 insurgents were killed on Saturday in a gun fight, following the ambush of troops by Boko Haram sect along Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road in Borno State.
One of the soldiers lost his life along Pulka-Ngoshe road in another fire fight.
The incident, according to multiple sources, happened separately around vicinity of Dogon Waye (Defunct NITEL Masts, which is about 45km drive along Maiduguri – Damboa road.
On Pulka -Ngoshe road, the source said the “incident took place around Bokko settlement (Pulka/Bokko ward) in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno state, with 10 others seriously injured, while some soldiers are missing uptill now. The troops were said to be heading to their base at Ngoshe town when the attack occurred. Bokko settlement is situated along Pulka – Ngoshe road , behind Gwoza Mandara mountain which shares border with Cameroun.
One of the eye witnesses, a passengers, Ali Isa, who managed to escape the attack, said: “Several members of Boko Haram sect laid ambush along Damboa road at about 2pm and opened fire on military escort vehicles. This led to exchange of gunfire, a situation that left many victims to flee into the bush for safety.”
He noted that a lot of people, including some members of Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, in company of the security escort vehicles, had to engage the terrorists, with many victims still missing at press time.
A member of the Civilian-JTF, who is not authorized to talk to the press, but luckily escaped unhurt during the ambush, confirmed to Vanguard yesterday that over 20 terrorists and nine soldiers died in the attack.
“During the clash, more than 20 terrorists were killed. Unfortunately, we also lost nine of our soldiers that were escorting travellers from Maiduguri to Damboa. The attackers had also gone away with patrol vehicle belonging to our vigilante operatives who were also part of the escort team, “ the CJTF member said.
Another motorists who maneuvered and made a u-turn back to Maiduguri, Mallam Usman Abdulahi, said the attackers did not confront civilian travellers.
The military authorities did not make any comment on the attacks. A text message sent to the acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, was not replied.
But when he eventually picked his call, he said: “Sorry I cant attend to you now as I am in transit.’’