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Thu, 14 Nov 2019 05:38 GMT

Boko Haram Forces Overrun Key Town


7Dnews London - AP

Sun, 09 Sep 2018 21:20 GMT

A key military outpost and crossroads in northeastern Nigeria has been overrun by Boko Haram fighters.

According to a statement released by the authorities on Saturday September 8th, the attack took place in the town of Gudumbali.

The attack highlights the challenge the Nigerian government faces in maintaining security, especially since the authorities were, just months ago, encouraging thousands of displaced people to return to Gudumbali. 

The government of President Buhari is facing a stiff challenge to reassure the 1.5-million people displaced by fighting that it is winning a battle that has been going on for nearly a decade. 

The deputy governor of Borno state, Usman Durkwa, confirmed the attack on a military base in Gudumbali. He had not yet been informed of the casualty count at the time of publication.

The extremists attacked on September 7th, said the Borno state secretary of the self-defence hunters association, Bunu Bukar. 

"Suddenly, I saw people running all over the place shouting, 'They have come! They have come!'" said resident Umara Modu. "I saw the attackers right inside our town but, surprisingly, they told us to take our property and move out because we are not the target."

Modu said the extremists entered the town with no resistance.

"I will never go back to Gudumbali again, no matter what assurances we get, because we went back after the military authority and the Borno state government promised us adequate security," Modu said.

According to AP, no comment was forthcoming from the Nigerian security forces.

The fighters are thought to belong to the Boko Haram faction under Abu Mus'ab al-Barnawi, which has the backing of Isis. That faction, also called Isis’s west Africa province, claimed responsibility but gave no account of casualties. They said military forces fled the attack.

The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist groups’ statements, said tanks, weapons and other vehicles were either seized or destroyed.

The government under Buhari has on more than one occasion declared the fight against Boko Haram to be over, but the extremists continue to carry out attacks in the impoverished northeast and Lake Chad region.