No fewer than 73 Boko Haram insurgents, disguised as herdsmen with the intention of invading Konduga town in Borno State, were yesterday killed by troops from the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army. This is just as a suicide bomber, who drove a Volkswagen Golf car, was also shot dead before he could reach his target – a military location in Konduga.
According to credible security sources, over 150 militants, who took cover behind a herd of cows, approached Konduga but were spotted by vigilant troops, who killed more than half of them while the rest fled.
However, one soldier died in the encounter, which witnesses said, lasted for over 5 hours.
Amadu Kamilu, a vigilante member from Konduga, said a fighter jet took part in the operation.
“We strongly believe that most of the fleeing terrorists were killed by the jet in the bush”, he said.
Another army officer said: “The invaders pretended to be herders looking for pasture. Unknown to them, Fulani herders in this part have been adequately briefed to stay clear of identified red spots because of the ongoing operation.
“Therefore, while they were approaching, there was prior information and our troops stayed alert. And when they came closer, they pushed the cows to one side and started firing in vain because our men were ready for them”, he said.
It is interesting to note that in the past six months, Nigerian troops have repelled over 20 attempts by the Boko Haram insurgents to capture Konduga, which is about 40 kilometers from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The town is seen as very strategic because it is a gateway to Maiduguri from Bama, Gwoza and Sambisa Forest from various directions.