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Nigerian Military Repels Boko Haram Attack On Maiduguri
By Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
There was pandemonium in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, Wednesday evening as gunshots and bomb explosions rent the air, sending many residents into panic, with many of them abandoning their homes for hours.
Sounds of sporadic gunshots were heard by residents about 6.05 pm, shortly after the curfew on the state capital took effect, followed by loud booms, suspected to be bomb explosion.
While a military source said that the sound was that of soldiers testing their equipment, it was authoritatively gathered that what actually happened was that Boko Haram insurgents tried to invade Maiduguri but were repelled by Nigerian troops.
A reliable military source, who cannot be named as he is not authorised to speak on the matter said that Boko Haram gunmen tried to gain entrance into Maiduguri through Bale in Jere local government area, on the outskirts of the city.
He said, however, that vigilant Nigerian soldiers sighted the insurgents as they made to enter the town and repelled them.
The insurgents are said to have suffered some casualty but the picture was still not clear by the time of filing this report.
A resident of 303 Housin Estate who spoke to our correspondent in Maiduguri said that the shooting started shortly after the curfew came into effect and was sustained for a long time.
She said that many residents of the estate situated opposite the University of Maiduguri, fearing a Boko Haram attack, ran out of the place believing that they would come under attack.
The source said however that calm has returned and most residents who took to their heels earlier had returned to the estate.
Maiduguri had been the target of several Boko Haram attacks in the past but there had been no attack on the city by the insurgents in recent weeks, following the clamp down on the terrorists all over the North east.