By Istifanus ABU, Senior North-east Investigator Reporter Maiduguri.
INTREPID Boko Haram insurgents Thursday morning, overran a military base in the northeastern part of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital killing at least 15 Nigerian soldiers. The fearless and trigger-happy insurgents said to be affiliated with the IS of the West Africa province also destroyed military wares and carted away arms and ammunition in the base located at Kareto town, about 150 kilometers from the capital city. Several other soldiers were said to be missing as of the time of filing this report. But the military authority through an anonymous source said only three Nigerian soldiers died during the invasion in the early hours of Thursday.
The military source who did not want his name mentioned because he was not authorized to speak to the press simply said, “The militants temporarily dislodged troops from the base before being repelled with aerial support. But we lost three soldiers in the fight and several others are still missing for now. The terrorists were promptly smoked out of the base by a fighter jet which was deployed to the scene. More troops have been deployed to the base and I can assure you that we are gaining the upper hand.”
But one of the soldiers who swam to safety during the invasion who called our correspondent on phone said, “15 bodies of our dead soldiers are lying lifeless on the ground as I speak with you now, and several of my colleagues are still missing. It was only God that saved me and this is because I can swim very well. Government is not being fair to us, the claibre of arms we have is nothing compares to what these terrorists possess. Our guns cannot fire more than five minutes and they will jam but these terrorists can fire for over 2 hours non-stop. I know the authority will come up with a lie to say nobody died or only 2 or 3 died, but I tell you, these terrorists kill us every now and then. If not that when I left school there was no job, I would not have joined the army. While the fight was going on, our troop had to beat a retreat to the town of Gubio, even residents of Kareto had to flee across the border into Niger.”