Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
A month after the outlawed Boko Haram sect captured Damboa, an attempt was made Wednesday to take over another town in Borno State, this time Gwoza, a hilly community some 135 kilometres from Maiduguri, the capital.
Eight persons are believed to have been killed in the attack on the town town which borders Adamawa State to the west and Cameroon to the east
The insurgents are said to have invaded the town at about 5.00pm on Tuesday but were repelled by a detachment of soldiers on ground. However, they returned at about 4.00am on Wednesday reinforced with men and ammunition to capture the town.
They reportedly set ablaze two churches, houses, shops and public buildings, including the Gwoza local council headquarters and the divisional police headquarters, which was attacked with improvised explosive devices.
The gunmen also invaded the motor park beside the police headquarters but only went away with some vehicles seized from drivers.
The troops on ground in the town were easily overwhelmed by the numbers and superior fire power of the insurgents, it was learnt.
Residents of the town have been forced to flee into surrounding hills and neighbouring Cameroonian villages.
The incident was confirmed by a former vice-chairman of the Gwoza council, Francis Mbala, who said the insurgents launched attacks in several parts of the town.
He told journalists: “I am yet to get the exact number of people killed in attacks, but the report being sent to me on my phone indicated that there were casualties in the multiple attacks. They are yet to furnish me with the number of our people killed by suspected gunmen that burst into the town through the hill tops, the southern entry point on Gwoza-Madagali road; and Damboa road that leads to Sambisa Forest,” he stated.
As at the time of going to press, the military authorities were already mobilising troops from the Bama-Gwoza axis and Dambo