- Troops neutralise Boko Haram insurgents along Lake Chad
Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Borno State Police Command has confirmed that 16 persons were killed and 82 others injured in Tuesdayâ€™s attack on a market in Konduga by Boko Haram terrorists.
The state Commissioner for Police, Mr. Damian Chukwu, who spoke with journalists, gave the casualty figure.
The commissionerâ€™s casualty figure was in sharp contrast with the figures given by residents who spoke anonymously with THISDAY on phone.
The residents of Konduga where the incident occurred, claimed that they counted 39 corpses and brought 103 injured persons to Maiduguri, the state capital for treatment.
One of the residents said most of the injured persons in the attack on the weekly Mandarari market were brought to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital for treatment.
Konduga is about 34 kilometres from Maidugiri, the birthplace of Boko Haram, a town which has been under siege for the past six years.
The latest attack on the state is coming barely five hours after the launch of the special force, mobile strike teams by the counter-insurgency operations (Operations Lafiya Dole) on Tuesday.
The special forces were given the directives to track down Boko Haram spiritual leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Meanwhile troops have ambushed a group of Boko Haram along the Lake Chad Basin, neutralising ten insurgents.
The Lake Chad Basin, because of its difficult terrain, has become the latest hideout of the terrorist group.
It was along this axis that the group recorded its recent success, killing a team of oil explorers.
But, the troops handed a defeat to the terrorist group on Tuesday, neutralising 10 of their members just before they could creep into the swampy zone of the now notorious Lake Chad Basin.
The army in a statement yesterday by the Deputy Director,
Public Relations, 8 Task Force Division, Col. Timothy Antigha, said: â€œIn continuation of ongoing efforts to deny terrorists freedom of action in its area of responsibility, troops of 8 Task Force Division have neutralised 10 terrorists in Maza village in Marte Local Government Areas of Borno State.
â€œThe terrorists fell into an ambush laid by troops at about 9p.m. on Tuesday, as they attempted to sneak back into their swampy hideouts in the Lake Chad.â€
Atigha disclosed that items recovered from the terrorists include â€œ10 bicycles, 11 carts containing food items and two cows.â€
He also said: â€œIn a related development, troops also recovered 50 cows abandoned by fleeing terrorists, during clearance operations conducted in Danari and Mowo villages in Monguno Local Government Area.â€
He disclosed that â€œas the noose continue to tighten on Boko Haram terrorists, couple with the wet season, they have resorted to the use of bicycles and carts as means of transportation.â€