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UPDATED: Boko Haram fighters pull out of Dikwa

"They said we should stay, ‘we are not here to harm you but the soldiers’. Their motorcycles and gun trucks are in the town.

Boko Haram insurgents have pull out of Dikwa hours taking control of the town located in the central part of Borno State.

Daily Trust learnt that they left the town before troops reinforced around mid-day.

But the insurgents returned hours later and overpowered the troops.

According to the source, the insurgents who came with more than 20 gun trucks mounted with anti-aircraft guns, overpowered the troops initially.

They razed some public buildings, include primary health care, local government secretariat, part of Shehu of Dikwa palace and a United Nations hub.

“They just pull out of Dikwa themselves at about 11:15 am., we are relieved now; they headed toward the new Marte axis, Airforce can monitor them and destroy them in the bushes.” the source said.

The source added the number of abducted persons could not be ascertained.

Daily Trust had earlier reported how thousands of civilians were trapped in Dikwa after insurgents took control of the town on Monday night.

Soldiers had initially repelled an attack on the town but the insurgents regrouped hours later.

After overpowering the security operatives, the insurgents roamed the streets, preaching to locals not to flee the town.

Dikwa town is about 90 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and has experienced several attacks from the insurgents since the liberation of the town in 2016.

The town also hosts the military Super Camp 9 where the Army Chief visited last week and ordered the retaking of Marte, which is about 20km away.

Bukar Ahmed, a resident of Dikwa, wept as he related how insurgents told his neighboursto stay on.

“They said we should stay, ‘we are not here to harm you but the soldiers’. Their motorcycles and gun trucks are in the town.

“Boko Haram are in control of Dikwa as I speak with you, they are roaming the streets; help us talk to President Buhari to save our soul,” he said, weeping in a phone call.

A humanitarian worker said insurgents went to the United Nations hub in Dikwa.

“The situation in Dikwa is scary, thousands of civilians are trapped, we need a quick response from troops to save lives,” the worker said.

“The town is under siege; the government must mobilise resource to salvage the situation as soon as possible.”

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