Residents flees as Nigerian troops again repelled Boko Haram attacks in a deadly clash in Monguno Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State.
The terrorists have repeatedly attacked Monguno but failed in their attempts in the past to overrun the garrison town.
Intelligence sources informed PRNigeria on Wednesday that a patrol team of the Operation Lafiya Dole engaged Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP) terrorists after they were attacked near Monguno town on Tuesday night.
However, re-enforcement was quickly sent from troops located in other platforms to assist in repelling the attack with casualties on both sides.
“The attack was subsequently repelled. Though there were fewer casualties on the Nigerian troops through Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices, many Boko Haram Terrorists were however eliminated during the encounter,” the source said.
Military authorities are expected to provide details on the gun battle later.
Locals have been leaving the northern part of Borno part following the
withdrawal of the Chadian Army along the shores of the Lake Chad.
Some residents of Monguno, Damasak, Magumeri, Gubio who already arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno capital, had predicted that the withdrawal would result in renewed attacks by the insurgents.
Last Thursday, Chad ended its mission fighting Boko Haram in the region with the withdrawal of 1,200 soldiers.
Usman Kundiri, who has been living in Monguno since the liberation of the town by Nigerian troops told newsmen that he never wanted to leave Monguno but ISWAP’s reported appointment of 18 new commanders as well as the withdrawal of the Chadian troops forced him to relocate.
He said: “Our people have been living in fear owing to several attacks in this part of our world. I believe over the years, even our military have been depending on the support given by the Chad Army.
“Now they are gone and there is fear that the over 1000 troops withdrawn have caused a gap in the security of the region,” Usman said.
Ibrahim Saleh, a fisherman in Baga town also told newsmen that the withdrawal triggered concern at communities and informed the decision by several people to to look elsewhere in search of safe haven.
“We believe the Chadian soldiers had denied terrorists power to operate around Monguno as their garrison has been very effective in repelling moves by the terrorists to attack freely,” he stated.