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Zulum passes night in attacked Damasak, meets soldiers, re-equips security with 12 APC, patrol vehicles

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… Confirms 18 deaths, destructions

By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri

Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum was in Damasak, from Thursday to Friday, after the town was attacked on Tuesday, by Boko Haram insurgents, killing 20 persons and injuring 21.

Zulum travelled alongside Senator Abubakar Kyari representing Borno North, who hails from Damasak, and some officials.

As part of measures, the governor held an operational meeting with soldiers and other security forces after which he presented 12 security vehicles which include an armoured personnel carrier ( APC) and 11 patrol vehicles, to strengthen armed forces and volunteers made up of trained youths in the civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes, helping in the fight against insurgents.

Damasak, headquarter of Mobbar local government area in northern Borno, is located in the fringes of Lake Chad, and it shares a border with communities in the Niger Republic. The town used to be a producer and exporter of vegetables to target markets within Nigeria, the Niger republic and other neighbouring countries. Boko Haram had occupied Damasak in 2014 as one of their caliphates, and the insurgents seem interested in the town, apparently for strategic access to raising funds through agriculture and for land routes to the Niger republic.

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Zulum, spending the night at Damasak, ends speculation that the town had fallen to insurgents’ occupation.

During his stay in Damasak, Zulum had interactions with soldiers and others forces involved in counter-insurgency operations.

The Governor interacted with residents, empathized with them and assessed destructions caused by insurgents. Thousands of residents who had fled to border communities in the Niger republic returned on Friday.

Governor Zulum confirmed from residents, that 18 people had died, 21 injured, and he saw several properties destroyed.

The UN humanitarian hub, private residential houses, a police station, the palace of the district head, a primary healthcare centre, and a GSM Village were among the property destroyed.

The insurgents attacked the town with three gun trucks, residents told Governor Zulum.

Tuesday’s attack on Damasak was the sixth in two weeks, by the Boko Haram/ISWP groups, residents recalled.

Zulum assured of robust measures being put in place to avert future attacks on Damasak town, by the insurgents.

The Governor directed the strengthening of agricultural activities in Damasak, and he assessed a rice farm which his administration facilitates, to enhance food security.

Vanguard News Nigeria 

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