Scores of people have been killed and many wounded in multiple attacks in different locations in Borno State at the weekend.
An army colonel who was injured in one of the encounters with suspected insurgents later died while receiving medical care.
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It was learnt that the insurgents opened fire on troops’ convoys in Wajuriko near Sabon-garri in Damboa Local Government Area on Saturday, before soldiers returned fire.
It was during the exchange of fire in Damboa that the senior officer was fatally wounded while several soldiers and terrorists were killed, a security source said.
The source further said the fight lasted for hours and troops had to be reinforced from Biu and Damboa bridges. Thereafter, more terrorists were killed and many escaped with life-altering wounds.
“Unfortunately the military lost some of its personnel including a senior officer who sustained critical injuries but later died on Monday in Maiduguri,” the source said.
The source revealed that some soldiers were still unaccounted for. Meanwhile, the military had in a statement by Deputy Director Army Public Relations 7 Division, Colonel Ado Isa said a commander with Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel DC Bako had died from gunshot wounds.
He said, “It could be recalled that the professional, gallant senior officer who always led from the front and a patriotic Nigerian led a patrol to clear Boko Haram Terrorists from Sabon Gari-Wajiroko axis near Damboa when his patrol team entered an ambush at about 10 a.m Sunday 20 September 2020.
Under his able leadership, the troops cleared the ambush resulting in the killing of scores of terrorists and recovery of weapons and equipment.
“Sadly, however, he was wounded in action and immediately evacuated by the Air Task Force Operation Lafiya Dole to the 7 Division Hospital at Maimalari Cantonment.
The late senior officer was recuperating well after a successful operation at the hospital, in good spirit and also said his prayers in the early hours of this morning before his sad passing on at the hospital.”
In a separate attack, insurgents believed to be members of ISWAP, have abducted four officials of the state government.
A man said to be a relative to one of the abductees exclusively told Daily Trust that the victims were on their way to Damasak town for an official assignment.
The victims included four staffers of the ministry of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement and a driver.
A family source told Daily Trust that the fighters have reached out to the families.
“Some days after the incident, the kidnappers called to confirm that our brothers are in their custody. We hope they have a change of mind. They told us something which I can’t disclose to you,” the family source said. Similarly, people in Magumeri LGA were apprehensive following an attack by insurgents that led to the death of two members of a local vigilante group.
A member of the vigilante group, Abubakar Kwami said the attackers arrived in Magumeri town on Sunday night and search houses before killing his colleagues. “They came around 9 pm on Sunday night and raided till about 2 am on Monday morning, two of our members were killed and now we are helpless. No single soldiers in Magumeri as we speak.” Kami said.
Soldiers were also said to have repelled an attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Damasak town, headquarters of Mobbar LGA at 9 am on Sunday.
Also, Governor Zulum in mourning the loss, said the people of Borno mourn the death of Col. D.C Bako, the Commander of 25 Task Force Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole. “Sacrifices by him and other heroes, will not be in vain,” Governor Babagana Umara Zulum said last night.
The governor, in a statement by his spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, reacted to the army’s confirmation of Bako’s eventual death from injuries sustained in combat around Damboa in southern part of Borno on Sunday.