More than 100 members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect were killed on Friday as Nigerian soldiers repelled an attack on Konduga, a town located just 40 kilometres from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
This major victory came for the military as the Defence Headquarters also announced Friday that it had taken full control of Bama, Gwoza, Mubi, Michika, Bazza, Gulak, Gamboru Ngala and other towns and villages that had fallen to or been threatened by the terrorists.
Maiduguri is believed to have been the ultimate target of the attack on Konduga as the insurgents would have had an easy passage to the state capital had they succeeded.
Hundreds of the insurgents were said to have stormed Konduga in the early hours of Friday arriving in a long convoy of Hilux trucks, cars and motorcycles but they fell into the ambush of Nigerian soldiers and local youth vigilante group known as Civilian JTF.
It was gathered that the troops had received intelligence that the terrorists were coming to attack the town and, along with the local vigilante youths, had laid ambush for them all night until the wee hours of Friday when they arrived to attack the town.
The insurgents fell blindly into the ambush and more than 100 of them were reportedly killed while several were also killed. Most of the insurgents’ vehicles were destroyed in the confrontation while others were seized.
Even as the troops celebrated the routing of the terrorists in Konduga, the Defence Headquarters communicated more cheery news through its twitter handle @DefenceinfoNG indicating that highly coordinated air and land operations are ongoing in many areas held by the insurgents which are yielding positive results in the overall move to rid the areas of their activities.
It added that all facets of security arrangements for the defence of Maiduguri had been upgraded to handle any planned attack or attempt to disrupt the city’s prevailing peace.
The military however, cautioned the media to desist from reporting “negativity” which tends to cause panic and chaos in the region.
It said that “alarming reports on Foreign and Online Media on Maiduguri is clearly intended to cause panic in the city and the nation. Citizens are nevertheless enjoined to remain vigilant as they go about their lawful business.”
Reports in some section of the media, quoting residents as saying that the Boko Haram insurgents had taken over Bama, Gwoza, Mubi, Michika and other towns and had forced residents to flee their homes for fear of being killed.