More facts have emerged on the battle between the military and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists.
Daily Trust had reported how troops clashed with the terrorists in Borno State over the weekend.
While the fight between the Nigerian troops and ISWAP was ongoing, some of the terrorists laid an ambush and killed the Commander 28 Task Force Brigade, Brig. Gen. Dzarma Zirkushu and three soldiers on their way to render support.
A military source said after both the military and ISWAP fighters retreated from Askira Uba towards evening on Saturday, the terrorists went back at night.
“Luckily, the terrorists thought the military had completely vacated Askira Uba and environs but were wrong,” a senior official said.
“That was when our own troops descended on them and dealt them a deadly blow. They would never succeed in their ill motive.
“The operation is ongoing simultaneously in the northern and southern parts of Borno,” he said.
Some sources in Maiduguri and Abuja said the military establishment and by extension, the federal government were devastated by the death of General Zirkushu.
“Following the Saturday’s terrible encounter at Askira Uba, more ground and air resources were immediately dispatched to confront the enemy,” a colonel, who does not want to be named, said.
Another source close to the military said the details of the aftermath of Saturday’s encounter were being put together.
“The statement issued by the army spokesman is just part of what is going on. Officers and men of the armed forces are furious and several operations are ongoing.
“It is unusual to lose a general during war…What happened is sad. I know many things would change in the coming days.
“Also, we need not open up on what is happening but I can assure you that the terrorists are on the run,” he said.
B/Haram fighters steal foodstuffs in Borno village
Suspected Boko Haram fighters loyal to late Abubakar Shekau Monday burnt down houses and looted food items when they attacked Dille, a remote village at the fringe of Sambisa forest in Askira Uba Local Government Area.
It was learnt that the insurgents rode on six utility vehicles around 5 pm shooting sporadically.
A vigilante said they looted foodstuff before they burnt down shops in the village.
“They came shooting at all angles and there was a commotion in the village. We ran into bushes for safety. They emptied our shops before they set them ablaze. The soldiers responded on time and they left,” he said.
The Deputy Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Engr. Musa Abdullahi Askira, who also confirmed the attack, said they entered the village in about six gun trucks. He said four houses and many shops were burnt.
A source said the terrorists were sighted converging with GTs and MC at Yuwe and Fulatari in Sambisa forest.
“Fulatari is located close to Sabil Huda. The convergence started at about 1 pm,” he said.
Bandits kill 15 persons in Sokoto
Four communities in Sokoto State were invaded by bandits who killed 15 people on Sunday night, Daily Trust reports.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal also confirmed the killing while presenting his 2022 budget proposal to the State House of Assembly on Monday.
He told the legislators: “Let me start by condoling the people of Goronyo and Illela Local Government Areas over the last night’s attacks by bandits who killed 12 persons in Illela and three persons in Goronyo.
Our correspondent report that Sokoto has been in the spotlight in recent months where bandits and sundry criminals have killed hundreds of people, forced many to become IDPs, destroyed villages and the economic fortunes of the locals.
While lamenting the development, Tambuwal said security challenges were hindering their efforts to develop the state.
He, however, assured that they would remain focused on providing security of lives and property in the state.
Speaking to Daily Trust, a member representing the Illela constituency at the state House of Assembly, Bello Isa Ambarura, said three communities were attacked by bandits in his area.
“It is indeed a calamity. The situation requires God’s intervention. We have resorted to prayers,” he said.
The communities attacked by the marauders in Illela included Runji, Kalmalo and Munwadata.
According to the member, the bandits also abducted several people.
The Chairman of Goronyo Local Government Area, Alhaji Abdulwahab Goronyo, said three persons were killed at a village called Kojiyo in the area.
He added that the bandits also kidnapped three women.
Zamfara community attacked for defaulting in levy payment
Reports from Zamfara State indicated that dozens of bandits stormed the Kwarin Mai Saje community in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Sunday.
Sources said the village was attacked because the residents could not pay a levy of N3 million imposed on them.
It was learnt that some women were raped and six people abducted.
“Foodstuff and other belongings of the villagers were also looted by the attackers,” a resident of the village said.
Another said over 100 bandits laid siege on the village.
“They were over 100 in number and they came with sophisticated weapons. They did what wanted to do without any resistance from any quarter,” he said.
“We are helpless; people cannot go to market or their farms and yet the bandits want you to give them money. Our prayer is that the federal government should do something to liberate us.
“The trend of raping our women is the height of onslaught against us. We need help,” he said.
There was no statement from the state government and the police spokesperson, Mohammed Shehu, could not be reached.
Hundreds of villages have been sacked in Zamfara State and to a greater extent, the seizure of telecommunication in many places made it impossible for the locals to voice out their frustration.
By Idowu Isamotu (Abuja), Olatunji Omirin (Maiduguri) & Abubakar Auwal (Sokoto)
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