The morale of troops deployed in the troubled Borno State dropped to minimum, as several soldiers of the Nigerian Army have reportedly deserted as the result of massive Boko Haram retaliation attack on Biita and Izge.
According to several anonymous soldiers, who spoke with SaharaReporters, many of their colleagues laid down their weapons, put on civilian clothes and left the area.
* One of four vehicles used by the terrorists in the foiled attack in Biita and Izge, Borno State, June 7-8, 2014. Photo credit – Reuben Abati
The troops have launched a major offensive on Boko Haram terrorists in the night of June 7, 2014, Saturday, and killed over 50 of them. The DHQ has also confirmed that significant amount of weapons, ammunition and grenades were recovered and the insurgents were driven out of the area.
However, local military sources of SaharaReporters revealed that Boko Haram launched a full-scale retaliation attack in the morning of June 9, 2014, Monday. The attackers, numbering about 500, have returned to Biita and Izge with an overwhelming force, as their attack was supported by six armoured personnel carriers (APCs). The terrorists targeted army bases located in the area.
The unnamed military source further stated that the defenders were outgunned and forced to leave their positions in Biita.
At the same time, another source declared that both Izge and Biita towns had been completely deserted, which allowed the militants to get back all the weapons seized from them during the battles between Saturday and Sunday.
The soldiers lamented absence of adequate weaponry to tackle the attackers efficiently. This was one of the reasons why numerous soldiers have allegedly handed over their arms at the Army HQ in Michika, Adamawa State. About 100 soldiers, wearing civilian clothes, reportedly left via Shua-Mubi Road on June 10, 2014, Tuesday.
Some of the soldiers lamented that Boko Haram terrorists have more APCs than the Nigerian troops on the frontlines.
Another soldier wondered why the top Army Commanders use the capabilities of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) so seldom. The jet fighters could have easily located and destroyed Boko Haram’s tanks and APCs. However, the insurgents use armoured vehicles openly in the daylight, without fear of being bombed.
It would be noted that NAF was really helpful in repelling a massive Boko Haram attack on Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, when timely intervention of a military jet saved many lives and significant number of buildings from destruction. At the same time, an innocent girl has been reportedly killed by an air bomb.
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