Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
At least 207 corpses of members of a terrorist group, Boko Haram, have been recovered following a reprisal from the Army against the rebels who attacked a military base in Giwa, Borno State on Friday hoping to set free some of their detained members.
This was disclosed by a sector leader of the youth vigilante group known as Civilian JTF, Abdullahi Dere.
Dere said that the insurgents had succeeded in setting free some of its members before the reprisal from the military that left many dead and others gravely wounded.
“We counted 207 dead bodies of Boko Haram members shot dead by the military in Jidari Polo area alone. The suspected Boko Haram members had attacked Giwa Barracks and freed some of the detainees but the Military were able to go after them and killed them. As we speak (yesterday) the dead bodies of the terrorists are still within our area unattended to,” he said.
According to him, many fleeing members of the group were captured and handed over to the military.
Speaking in the same vein, the vice chairman of the vigilante group in the area, Tijjani Bello said apart from 207 persons killed close to the barracks, many more were killed in different parts of the city, fearing however, that some innocent residents may be among the dead.
He said “Many Boko Haram members were also killed apart from the ones killed in Jidari Polo. But we only fear that some innocent residents may be among those killed.”
Director, defence information, Chris Olukolade, a major-general, said in a pressed statement Friday, that “pockets of terrorists” had attacked the military facility in an attempt to free their colleagues who are being held in detention at the Giwa Barracks, “to boost their depleted stock of fighters”.
He, however, did not disclose that the insurgents succeeded in releasing some of their detained colleagues before soldiers repelled them.
According to him, many of the terrorists and their weapons were captured, even as “hot” pursuits by land and air operations are ongoing along with cordon and search of surrounding localities for fleeing members of the terrorist group, which many speculate to be Boko Haram.
He stated, however, that four soldiers were ajinder in the attack and are receiving treatment.
In view of the security situation, the state government has announced a 24-hour curfew on Maduguri, urging residents to remains indoors until normalcy is restored.