Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Boko Haram yesterday launched a bold attack on Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.
The attack forced the town into an early lockdown as vehicles were not allowed to come into it or out of the town.
THISDAY gathered that many of the residents were forced to stay indoor as the military engaged the insurgents, who were said to have tried to gain entry into the town through Maisandari, on the outskirts.
Some of the residents of Maisandari, who spoke to our correspondent, said the attackers came through the eastern part of the town and started shooting sporadically.
One of the residents, Abba Mohammed, said they saw the assailants coming into the area in Hilux vans mounted with anti-aircraft gun.
“Immediately we saw them, we had to scamper for safety,” he said.
Mohammed who spoke at about 6 p.m., said “we are still hearing exchange of gunfire and we surely need your prayer.”
Some of the residents of the mainland area of Damaturu, confirmed on phone to our correspondent, that they saw heavy armed soldiers in four armoured carriers and many Hilux vans advancing towards Maisandari, where the insurgents were said to have followed to enter the town.
One of the residents, Sani Ahmed said the shooting was first heard at about 5 p.m.
He said some suspected Boko Haram members attempted to invade the Red Bricks Housing Estate along Maiduguri road, in Damaturu.
He said there were heavy sounds of gunfire and explosions, adding also that a fighter jet was seen hovering on Damaturu around 5.30 p.m.
As at the time of filing the report, military authority was yet to issue a statement.
A high ranking officer of the Police in the state who preferred anonymity, however confirmed the attack.