The residents of Mainok village, 59 kilometers from Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, are still in shock following Wednesday’s killing of six soldiers by Boko Haram insurgents, who also carted away two Nigerian Army gun trucks.
The insurgents stormed Mainok attacked military base at a time all the soldiers had allegedly gone out. The attack, according to the villagers, lasted one hour. A resident, Bukar Kundiri, told SaharaReporters that they still feel unsafe. Their sense of panic is on account of the ease with which the insurgents carried out the attack and went away with weapons.
“We are preparing to take families to Maiduguri. We are not safe. If they could go away with military vehicles unhindered, anything can happen. If they want us to stay, there is much that needs to be done. We can’t afford to lose our family members after what Boko Haram did to us three years ago,” said a resident.
A member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) disclosed that Boko Haram members were regularly sighted on farmlands. These sightings, he said, were reported to Army authorities, who did nothing. He explained that they foresaw Wednesday’s attack, which he said proved that area is massively unsafe. He added that when the insurgents arrived on Wednesday, they assured villagers of their safety, saying they were only after soldiers.
“There was confusion everywhere on Wednesday but they told us not to worry. They said they came for soldiers, not villagers. But we could not trust them; they killed soldiers and wounded four others,” Kundiri told SaharaReporters.
An impeccable security source told SaharaReporters that six soldiers were killed and nine others seriously wounded, with the insurgents going away with plenty of ammunition and two gun trucks. The source disclosed that the corpses of the soldiers were received at the military hospital.
Army troops claimed that they killed many terrorists and injured many, but their colleagues went away with their corpses and the injured, a claim that disappointed many residents.
The Borno State Police Command, in a statement, said the attack was repelled by combined forces of military and SARS personnel.
“Two civilians (one Baba Kachalla and another identity not yet known) sustained gunshot wounds and are responding to treatment at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital,” said the statement.
However, a resident told SaharaReporters that the police lied.
“I was sad when Mr. Damien Chukwu, the Borno State Police Command spokesman, said only two civilians were injured. I don’t really understand why they would lie about this.”