Nigerian troops thwarted a Boko Haram attack on the northeastern city of Damaturu, killing several jihadists and seizing weapons, the army said on Wednesday.
Tuesday’s attempted raid on the capital of Yobe state was the first time since late 2014 that the insurgents had attacked the city, residents told AFP.
But army spokesman Njoka Irabor said in a statement that soldiers had “successfully laid an ambush which led to the extermination of many Boko Haram terrorists”.
“The vigilant troops effectively ambushed the criminals (a) few metres (yards) ahead of Maisandari community (on) the outskirts of the city of Damaturu,” he added.
The attack followed the evacuation of some 2,000 people from Jakana village, some 90 kilometres (55 miles) from Damaturu on the road to Maiduguri, in neighbouring Borno state on Tuesday.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said troops escorted the residents to the Bakassi camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Maiduguri “for their own safety”.
Tuesday’s attack was suspected to have been carried out by a separate faction backed by the Islamist State group.
The decade-long insurgency has killed more than 27,000 people in the northeast with 1.8 million still displaced from their homes.
The terrorists were overwhelmed by the superior fire power of the gallant troops and the well coordinated air support, from the Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
Consequently, many terrorists met their waterloo, some were also wounded and the following items/equipments were recovered;
a. 2 x Gun Trucks
b. 2x Anti Aircraft Guns
c. 1 x 60 Millimetre Mortar
d. 4 x AK 47 Rifles
e. 1x General Purpose Machine Gun
f. 1,245 Rounds of 7.62 mm (NATO)
Troops have embarked on hot pursuit of the fleeing terrorists, mop up/combing of the general area is ongoing.