Posted by News Express | 5 January 2015 | 8,022 times
Dozens of militants from the terrorist Boko Haram movement have been killed during a surprise attack on the Multinational Joint Military Task Force (MNJTF), which is deployed in Baga, a town on the border between Nigeria’s Borno State, Chad and Niger.
“The attackers came through the riverine area called Doro (Baga) to attack the soldiers at the MNJTF,” Umaru Monguno, a fisherman who lives in the area, told The Anadolu Agency by phone.
“It was a surprise attack, which took place early on Saturday,” he added.
He noted that at least 11 troops of various nationalities were killed during the attack, along with dozens of attackers.
Monguno said locals had fled the area in the aftermath of the attack.
Like Monguno, another big town in the area, Baga has repeatedly come under militant attacks since the insurgency started with scores of casualties each time.
Kabiru Hayat, a retired policeman whose family has also fled the area, told AA that the attack had lasted for hours.
Hayat added that hundreds of people had to desert the area with some of them fleeing to the neighbouring Yobe State, while others had crossed into Chad.
“Apart from the troops and the militants, some ordinary people had also lost their lives in the crossfire, especially in Doro Baga from where they [the militants] came,” Hayat said.
“They wreaked so much havoc in all the places they passed through,” he added.
Hayat denied reports about the militants’ takeover of the MNJTF base in Baga, saying that – as far as he knew – base troops had held their positions, even as they lost some of their colleagues in the attack.
MNJTF was formed during the reign of Nigeria’s military dictator Sanni Abacha between 1994 and 1995 with the aim of tackling cross border security challenges.
The force’s mandate has, however, turned to fighting terrorism since the insurgency started in northeastern Nigeria.
AA could not immediately obtain comments from the Nigerian Defense Ministry on the MNJTF base attack.
The government has not officially commented on the attack either.
•Adapted from an Anadolu Agency report. Photo shows Boko Haram ringleaders.
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